Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Under the Dome: Air Pollution, Wellbeing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Among Beijing Residents

  • Dian Gu (a1), Niwen Huang (a1), Maoxin Zhang (a1) and Fang Wang (a1)

Abstract

The conflict between economic development and environmental protection has been made salient by increasingly severe air pollution in China, a visible consequence of the costs of rapid economic progress. How does air pollution affect people's psychological experiences? How are newly rich Chinese beginning to think about this social dilemma and are they willing to take any action to deal with the problem? Are there individual differences that contribute to the effect of air pollution on mental experience and concern for environmental protection? The present work explores answers to these questions through two studies among convenience samples of participants residing in Beijing, which is the capital of China and plagued by toxic haze. Study 1 recruited 50 undergraduates and applied a 10-day experience sampling method. Results revealed that the real-time objective air pollution index was negatively associated with immediate subjective wellbeing (SWB) but positively associated with eudaimonic wellbeing (EWB). Study 2 investigated a sample of 288 working adults living in Beijing for their perceptions of air quality, wellbeing, pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) intentions, future orientation, and place attachment. Results revealed that perceived air pollution could not predict general SWB but improved the sense of purpose and meaning in life (i.e., EWB). Furthermore, this association was heightened in individuals who were future-orientated. In addition, perceived air pollution increased PEB intentions, partially through the promotion of EWB, and this effect was stronger in those who were more emotionally attached to Beijing.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Under the Dome: Air Pollution, Wellbeing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Among Beijing Residents
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Under the Dome: Air Pollution, Wellbeing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Among Beijing Residents
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Under the Dome: Air Pollution, Wellbeing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Among Beijing Residents
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Fang Wang, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, P.R. China. Email: fwang@bnu.edu.cn

References

Hide All
Aiken, L.S., West, S.G., & Reno, R.R. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Anderson, J.O., Thundiyil, J.G., & Stolbach, A. (2012). Clearing the air: A review of the effects of particulate matter air pollution on human health. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 8, 166175.
Arthaud-Day, M.L., Rode, J.C., Mooney, C.H., & Near, J.P. (2005). The subjective well-being construct: A test of its convergent, discriminant, and factorial validity. Social Indicators Research, 74, 445476.
Baumeister, R.F., Vohs, K.D., Aaker, J.L., & Garbinsky, E.N. (2013). Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 505516.
Bryk, A.S., & Raudenbush, S.W. (1987). Application of hierarchical linear models to assessing change. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 147158.
Bullinger, M. (1989). Psychological effects of air pollution on healthy residents — A time-series approach. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 9, 103118.
Calderón-Garcidueñas, L., Azzarelli, B., Acuna, H., Garcia, R., Gambling, T. M., Osnaya, N., . . . Rewcastle, B. (2002). Air pollution and brain damage. Toxicologic Pathology, 30, 373389.
Calderón-Garcidueñas, L., Franco-Lira, M., Torres-Jardón, R., Henriquez-Roldán, C., Barragán-Mejía, G., Valencia-Salazar, G., . . . Reed, W. (2007). Pediatric respiratory and systemic effects of chronic air pollution exposure: nose, lung, heart, and brain pathology. Toxicologic Pathology, 35, 154162.
Calderón-Garcidueñas, L., Mora-Tiscareño, A., Ontiveros, E., Gómez-Garza, G., Barragán-Mejía, G., Broadway, J., . . . Engle, R.W. (2008). Air pollution, cognitive deficits and brain abnormalities: A pilot study with children and dogs. Brain and Cognition, 68, 117127.
Calderón-Garcidueñas, L., Reed, W., Maronpot, R.R., Henriquez-Roldán, C., Delgado-Chavez, R., Calderón-Garcidueñas, A., . . . Swenberg, J.A. (2004). Brain inflammation and Alzheimer's-like pathology in individuals exposed to severe air pollution. Toxicologic Pathology, 32 (6), 650658.
Chen, M.F. (2015). An examination of the value-belief-norm theory model in predicting pro-environmental behaviour in Taiwan. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 18, 145151.
Clark, C.F., Kotchen, M.J., & Moore, M.R. (2003). Internal and external influences on pro-environmental behavior: Participation in a green electricity program. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 237246.
Clayton, S.D., & Opotow, S. (Eds.). (2003). Identity and the natural environment: The psychological significance of nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Corral-Verdugo, V. (1997). Dual ‘realities’ of conservation behavior: Self-reports vs. observations of re-use and recycling behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 17, 135145.
Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1987). Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 175, 526536.
Cuñado, J., & de Gracia, F.P. (2013). Environment and happiness: New evidence for Spain. Social Indicators Research, 112, 549567.
Day, R. (2007). Place and the experience of air quality. Health & Place, 13, 249260.
DeNeve, K.M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197229.
Diener, E., Emmons, R.A., Larsen, R.J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 7175.
Diener, E., & Ryan, K. (2009). Subjective well-being: A general overview. South African Journal of Psychology, 39, 391406.
Diener, E., Suh, E., & Oishi, S. (1997). Recent findings on subjective well-being. Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology, 24, 2541.
Edwards, J.R., & Lambert, L. (2007). Methods for integrating moderation and mediation: A general analytical framework using moderated path analysis. Psychological Methods, 12, 122.
Ferreira, S., Akay, A., Brereton, F., Cuñado, J., Martinsson, P., Moro, M., & Ningal, T.F. (2013). Life satisfaction and air quality in Europe. Ecological Economics, 88, 110.
Fonken, L.K., Xu, X., Weil, Z.M., Chen, G., Sun, Q., Rajagopalan, S., & Nelson, R.J. (2011). Air pollution impairs cognition, provokes depressive-like behaviors and alters hippocampal cytokine expression and morphology. Molecular Psychiatry, 16, 987995.
Hayes, A.F. (2012). PROCESS: A versatile computational tool for observed variable mediation, moderation, and conditional process modeling (White paper). Retrieved from http://www.afhayes.com/public/process2012.pdf
Heath, Y., & Gifford, R. (2006). Free-market ideology and environmental degradation the case of belief in global climate change. Environment and Behavior, 38, 4871.
Heine, S.J., Proulx, T., & Vohs, K.D. (2006). The meaning maintenance model: On the coherence of social motivations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 88110.
Hidalgo, M.C., & Hernandez, B. (2001). Place attachment: Conceptual and empirical questions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21, 273281.
Hunter, L.M., Hatch, A., & Johnson, A. (2004). Cross-national gender variation in environmental behaviors. Social Science Quarterly, 85, 677694.
Joireman, J., & Liu, R.L. (2014). Future-oriented women will pay to reduce global warming: Mediation via political orientation, environmental values, and belief in global warming. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 391400.
Joireman, J., Shaffer, M.J., Balliet, D., & Strathman, A. (2012). Promotion orientation explains why future-oriented people exercise and eat healthy evidence from the two-factor consideration of future consequences-14 scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 12721287.
Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwarz, N. (Eds.). (1999). Well-being: Foundations of hedonic psychology. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Levinson, A. (2012). Valuing public goods using happiness data: The case of air quality. Journal of Public Economics, 96, 869880.
Lewicka, M. (2011). Place attachment: How far have we come in the last 40 years? Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31, 207230.
Li, Z., Folmer, H., & Xue, J. (2014). To what extent does air pollution affect happiness? The case of the Jinchuan mining area, China. Ecological Economics, 99, 8899.
Liao, P.S., Shaw, D., & Lin, Y.M. (2014). Environmental quality and life satisfaction: Subjective vs. objective measures of air quality. Social Indicators Research, 1–18.
Liberman, N., & Trope, Y. (1998). The role of feasibility and desirability considerations in near and distant future decisions: A test of temporal construal theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 518.
Liu, J.H., & Sibley, C.G. (2012). Hope for the future? Understanding self-sacrifice among young citizens of the world in the face of global warming. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 12, 190203.
Lucas, R., Diener, E., & Suh, E. (1996). Discriminant validity of well-being measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 616628.
Luechinger, S. (2009). Valuing air quality using the life satisfaction approach. The Economic Journal, 119, 482515.
Luechinger, S. (2010). Life satisfaction and transboundary air pollution. Economics Letters, 107, 46.
MacKerron, G., & Mourato, S. (2009). Life satisfaction and air quality in London. Ecological Economics, 68, 14411453.
Markman, K.D., Proulx, T., & Lindberg, M.J. (2012). The psychology of meaning. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Milfont, T.L., Wilson, J., & Diniz, P. (2012). Time perspective and environmental engagement: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Psychology, 47, 325334.
Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164172.
Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M.E. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 2541.
Preacher, K.J., & Hayes, A.F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879891.
Preacher, K.J., Rucker, D.D., & Hayes, A.F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: Theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behaviora Research, 42, 185227.
Qiu, L., Zheng, X. & Wang, Y.F. (2008). Revision of the positive affect and negative affect scale. Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology, 14, 249254.
Raudenbush, S.W. (2004). HLM 6: Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling. Skokie, IL: Scientific Software International.
Rehdanz, K., & Maddison, D. (2008). Local environmental quality and life-satisfaction in Germany. Ecological Economics, 64, 787797.
Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141166.
Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 10691081.
Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.E. (1996). Depressive symptoms and personal project appraisals: A cross-lagged longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 373381.
Shobe, M., & Page-Adams, D. (2001). Assets, future orientation, and well-being: Exploring and extending Sherraden's framework. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 28, 109127.
Stedman, R.C. (2002). Toward a social psychology of place predicting behavior from place-based cognitions, attitude, and identity. Environment and Behavior, 34, 561581.
Steger, M.F., Frazier, P., Oishi, S., & Kaler, M. (2006). The meaning in life questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 8093.
Steger, M.F., Kashdan, T.B., & Oishi, S. (2008). Being good by doing good: Daily eudaimonic activity and well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 2242.
Stern, P.C. (2000). New environmental theories: Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 407424.
Strathman, A., Gleicher, F., Boninger, D.S., & Edwards, C.S. (1994). The consideration of future consequences: Weighing immediate and distant outcomes of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 742752.
Tiliouine, H., & Belgoumidi, A. (2009). An exploratory study of religiosity, meaning in life and subjective well-being in Muslim students from Algeria. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 4, 109127.
Van Tongeren, D.R., & Green, J.D. (2010). Combating meaninglessness: On the automatic defense of meaning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 13721384.
Vaske, J.J., & Kobrin, K.C. (2001). Place attachment and environmentally responsible behavior. The Journal of Environmental Education, 32, 1621.
Waterman, A.S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 678691.
Watson, D., Clark, L.A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect; The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 10631070.
Welsch, H. (2002). Preferences over prosperity and pollution: environmental valuation based on happiness surveys. Kyklos, 55, 473494.
Welsch, H. (2006). Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data. Ecological Economics, 58, 801813.
Welsch, H. (2007). Environmental welfare analysis: A life satisfaction approach. Ecological Economics, 62, 544551.
Welsch, H. (2009). Implications of happiness research for environmental economics. Ecological Economics, 68, 27352742.
WHO. (2011). Air quality and health. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/
WHO (2014a). Air quality deteriorating in many of the world's cities. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://ww.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-quality/en/
WHO. (2014b). 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en
Williams, D.R., & Roggenbuck, J.W. (1989). Measuring place attachment: Some preliminary results. In Abstracts: 1989 Leisure Research Symposium (p. 32). Arlington, VA: National Recreation and Park Association.
Xu, J.J. (2015). The incidence of lung cancer in Beijing has risen by 43% in the past 10 years. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hqcj/xfly/2015-02-05/content_13181517.html
Yeatts, D.E., Cready, C.M., Pei, X., Shen, Y., & Luo, H. (2014). Environment and subjective well-being of rural Chinese elderly: A multilevel analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69, 979989.
Zeidner, M., & Shechter, M. (1988). Psychological responses to air pollution: Some personality and demographic correlates. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 8, 191208.

Keywords

Under the Dome: Air Pollution, Wellbeing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Among Beijing Residents

  • Dian Gu (a1), Niwen Huang (a1), Maoxin Zhang (a1) and Fang Wang (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed