How People Respond to Contingent Valuation Questions

EPA Grant Number: R824310
Title: How People Respond to Contingent Valuation Questions
Investigators: Payne, John W. , Schkade, David A. , Desvouges, William H.
Institution: Duke University , The University of Texas at Austin , Desert Research Institute
Current Institution: Duke University , Research Triangle Institute , The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through April 30, 1998
Project Amount: $238,510
RFA: Valuation and Environmental Policy (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice


The purpose of the project is to understand better how individuals interpret and respond to contingent valuation (CV) questions. The research will address three issues: the reliability of the referendum questions format, the importance of reminding respondents about substitutes, and the sensitivity of CV estimates of the scope of potential natural resource injuries. An interdisciplinary team of economists and psychologists will direct the research. A verbal protocol methodology adapted from the field of cognitive psychology will be used to provide insights into thought processes that lead to observed CV response. These protocols involve the process of respondents "thinking aloud" while they answer the CV questions. This process yields insights on both the decision process that people use to answer questions and the information they use as part of the decision process. Protocols will follow a research design that will enable the results to be useful for both hypothesis testing and developing more general insights about people's response patterns. Surveys will be used to further test the findings of the verbal protocol research.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Economics, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Economics & Decision Making, Social Science, Psychology, contingent valuation, ecosystem valuation, policy analysis, social psychology, surveys, verbal protocol methodology, hypothesis testing, valuation, community involvement, decision analysis, valuing environmental quality, environmental assets, environmental values, information dissemination, preference formation, environmental policy, methodological research, community-based, psychological attitudes

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997 Progress Report
  • Final Report