Abstract for: The Change in Residents' Participative Behavior in Polluted Areas: A System Dynamics Perspective

This article explores the reasons for the declining public participation of residents in a severely polluted community from a system dynamics perspective by examining a set of communities polluted with dioxin in southern Taiwan. The study examines three aspects affecting participative behavior intention: residents’ perception of the pollution, peer impact, and how residents perceive the impact of participation on government response. A face-to-face interview conducted from August to September 2008 revealed that the unintended side effect of the government’s indemnity policy has created a balancing feedback loop that offsets the reinforcing feedback system suggested by the normative theory of participation. In addition, the unique nature of pollution victims mitigates the influence of an existing reinforcing feedback system. This article concludes with policy suggestions to increase public participation in a highly polluted community.