Psychological responses to air pollution: Some personality and demographic correlates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines people's affective reactions towards air pollution and some personality and demographic correlates of these reactions. Data were collected by means of a survey based on a stratified cluster area probability sample of over 900 households in the Haifa region in northern Israel. In addition to demographic information, data were collected through structured interview procedure on trait anger and anxiety and a host of perceptions and attitudes with respect to air pollution, including: degree of anger and anxiety aroused by air pollution; perceived degree of pollution severity; propensity to pay towards pollution abatement; and methods of coping with air pollution. Perceived level of pollution is a stronger predictor of affective reactions and willingness to pay to reduce pollution than is the objective level of pollution. Furthermore, individuals more emotionally aroused with respect to a polluted environment are more prone to put in time and more willing to allocate financial resources towards pollution abatement. This study implicates age, perceptions of tax inadequacy, and personality variables as correlates of negative affect and willingness to pay. The decision theoretic implications of the data are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data were collected as part of a study on 'Benefits of morbidity reduction from air pollution control', funded by the U.S. Israel Binational Science Foundation. The authors would like to thank Prof. Charles Spielberger for his warm support of this research enterprise. Thanks are also due to Prof. Gary W. Evans for providing the authors with some of his seminal papers on air pollution attitudes and affective reactions and to Prof. Ralf Schwarzer for his valuable comments to parts of the manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological responses to air pollution: Some personality and demographic correlates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this