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Valuation Theory: an Environmental, Developmental and Evolutionary Psychological Approach. Implications for the Field of Environmental Education

Serafin J. Mercado-Doménech, Giuseppe Carrus, Alejandra Terán-Álvarez-Del-Rey, Sabine Pirchio


Teoria della Valutazione: un Approccio Psicologico Ambientale, Evolutivo ed Evoluzionistico.
Implicazioni in Campo Educativo

In this paper, we propose a new approach to motivation theory based on a cognitive perspective: the concept of valuation. Motivation and valuation are reviewed and discussed here using an environmental, developmental and evolutionary perspective. We argue that motivation could be approached as one of the various mechanisms that compose cognitive processes, being related to the adaptive value of objects, situations, or settings. Motivation and valuation are proposed as markers of the survival value of perceived, imagined, or conceptualized objects of cognition. In this manner, motivation can be conceived as the product of a complex cognitive computation that determines the adaptive value of our cognitions, and provides an evaluative response. From this perspective, we discuss the perceptual, cognitive, and symbolic dimensions of the valuation process. Finally, we discuss the implications for possible future developments of basic and applied research in the domain of environmental psychology and environmental education.


Cognition; Environmental education; Environmental psychology; Motivation; Perception; Valuation; Cognizione; Educazione ambientale; Motivazione; Percezione; Psicologia ambientale; Valutazione

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2017-016-merc

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Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
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