University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

'Seeing red' in national parks: how visitors' values affect perceptions and park experiences

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 04:03 authored by Rossi, SD, Jason ByrneJason Byrne, Pickering, CM, Reser, J
People’s reasons for visiting national parks have been well researched. So too have their park activities and how diverse activities potentially affect visitors’ park experiences (e.g. perceptions of overcrowding). Far less research has examined how park users’ environmental values might affect their perceptions of other users and the appropriateness of different activities – a potential source of conflict. Relationships between personal environmental values and environmental and social perceptions are complex and interactive in the context of park visitation. Visitors’ encounters with other users can powerfully affect their experience and enjoyment of parks, in turn reflecting such factors as values-related expectations and judgments in the context of national parks. Personal and social values may also play an important role in influencing whether different activities are perceived as ‘out of place’ in the context of national park place meaning, yet the conceptualization of values within geographic literature on parks remains comparatively weak.

This paper utilizes a definition of values, derived from a concise review of the geography and social psychology literatures, to explain the results of survey research we undertook within national parks in Queensland, Australia. We use a ‘values-behavior hierarchy’ conceptual framework to consider how the personal environmental values of a sample of park visitors (n = 404) potentially affected patterns of park visitation, user activities, and user conflicts. Findings suggest that visitors’ environmental values shaped how they perceived other park users and the appropriateness of their activities. This has international implications for geographic research and other disciplines and professions involved in national park visitation, park use, and human impacts, on and of these powerful places.


Publication title









School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use