Comparing valuation methods: examining differences in how individuals and groups value ecosystems services in the Great Bay watershed

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Burford, Klancey M.
Ecosystem services, or benefits humans derive from nature, are one way people ���put a price on' nature. Often researchers quantify this price through stated preference methods, where a respondent self-reports their value. This can be done either with individual respondents or through group deliberation; however, some studies suggest different techniques under the stated preference method do not result in the same values being elicited. Using the Great Bay Watershed as a study area, day long workshops were conducted to test if the values of participants remained the same during individual and group elicitation techniques. Utilizing the Reverse Swing Weighting method participants completed both individual and group valuation tasks. The findings show that values do shift through the deliberative process and individual values converge after deliberation. This suggests that asking only individual respondents about their values does not accurately capture the values of society as a whole, and that deliberative methods result in more nuanced responses that more accurately reflect the values of the people.