Values shift in response to social learning through deliberation about protected areas

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Riley Andrade
  • Carena J. van Riper
  • Devin J. Goodson
  • Dana N. Johnson
  • William Stewart
  • María D. López-Rodríguez
  • Miguel A. Cebrián-Piqueras
  • Andra Ioana Horcea-Milcu
  • Veronica Lo
  • Christopher M. Raymond

Salient, long-term solutions to address global environmental change hinge on management strategies that are inclusive of local voices and that recognize the array of values held by surrounding communities. Group-based participatory processes that involve deliberation of multiple stakeholders with varying perspectives—particularly social learning—hold promise to advance inclusive conservation by identifying and creating a shared understanding of the landscape. However, few studies have empirically investigated how the value basis of stakeholder deliberation changes over time in relation to social learning. This study provided a novel platform for local stakeholders from Interior Alaska to deliberate on landscape change and associated management practices in ways that shifted their value orientations. In particular, we used a pre-test, post-test experimental design involving mixed methods to measure how different types of values changed as a result of social learning through an online discussion forum. We found evidence that social learning: 1) activated shared values that were previously hidden through building a relational understanding of others, and 2) shifted values that spanned three levels of psychological stability. As hypothesized, social values that represented expressed preferences for landscape change were most likely to shift in association with social learning. Conversely, shifts in individual values towards self-transcendence required learning to go beyond the discussion forum and be situated within the participants’ broader communities of practice. Overall, this longitudinal study highlights how social learning facilitated through deliberation presents opportunities to identify shared values and spark value shifts across stakeholder groups, thus incorporating diverse viewpoints into decision-making about global environmental change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102630
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
01LC18064), the University of Illinois Campus Research Board (RB19119), and USDA Hatch grant program (accession #7000939). We are grateful for support throughout our research process provided by Rose Keller, Evan Salcido, Eric Johnson, Dave Schirokauer, and Ruth Colianni.

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by a Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service (P18AC00175) and a project called ENVISION funded through the 2017-2018 Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme, and with the support of the following national funders: Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS), Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), US National Science Foundation (grant number 1854767), and the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain (Grant PCI2018-092958 funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033). We also thank for the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Center of Advanced Study, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Grant Number:

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