JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2014, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 1076-1089.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2014.06.015

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A Process-Based Decision-Making Model and Its Application for Farm Households’Learning Behavior Responding to Environmental Changes

CHEN Hai, LIANG Xiao-ying, WANG Guo-yi, LI Qin, WANG Jun   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China
  • Received:2013-04-10 Revised:2013-06-03 Online:2014-06-20 Published:2014-06-24


More work has been called for with regard to farmers' behavior and its understanding in relation to the complexity of agricultural systems. However, significant strands of research in the field do not rely on an explicit and well-motivated behavioral theory. It is necessary that the process-based method should be used to study farm household's behavior on land use. In this paper, according to the decision-making framework of Belief, Desire, Intention (BDI) which has been used to reveal the decision-making of different agents for land use change under the hypothesis of the maximum benefit, the farm households'land-use decisionmaking model was designed. In order to explore the formation process and change of farm households'decision, we try to use the actual decision-making of farm households rather than decision-making of maximum benefit. Then, the decision-making of farm household was based on the theory of bounded rationality, not the theory of the maximum benefit. The BDI of farm householders were formulated respectively, and the interaction among the same and different farm groups was analyzed. Based on a case study in a study area in Mizhi County of Shaanxi Province of China, we discuss the potential and limitations of farm household's land-use decision-making model under three hypothetical local policy scenarios. Compared to the difference between the actual land use change and the result of the simulation, we analyze the validity of the model. From our design and implementation of the farm household's land-use model a number of conclusions can be drawn: 1) The BDI framework can well reveal the general process of individual decision-making, and can explore the mechanism of formation and change of individual land-use decision-making, especially to analyze the learning behavior of individuals while the environment changes. 2) In order to prompt shallot planting, we propose that the local government should help the farm household shallot cooperatives to grasp the market risk, standardize the cooperation and supervise the contract among farm household shallot cooperatives and farm households.

Key words: BDI, farm households, land-use decision-making

CLC Number: 

  • F301