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If you also want to buy a cup, there's an additional price. So I think that if it's explained correctly, these sorts of models It's just a reminder that you are getting something extra so there's going to be an extra fee. It's enough to make people think about it, and then decide that maybe they don't need that thing after all. Well, I want to turn to perhaps the biggest looming environmental question of the moment, which is about the psychology of climate change. We did have one previous podcast that touched on why climate change is a particularly challenging problem for humans to wrap our heads around and take action on.

But I definitely think that's worth revisiting. And I'd love to ask someone with your psychology background. So how do you think about the human capability from a psychological perspective to act on climate change? Are we poorly equipped? Do we have some tools at our disposal? Susan Clayton : Yes is the answer to both of those questions. I think it is difficult for us to understand.

It's a confusing topic, and it really requires either just faith in scientists, or an understanding of the way systems work. It's hard for people to think, how does my behavior as an individual possibly affect this entire global system? Especially when we're talking about warming temperatures, the link is very complex. And also the outcomes are a little uncertain. We've got increasingly complex climate models, and we have pretty good guesses.

But nobody can say, "All right, in the year , this is exactly what it's going to look like. Not only that of course, it's also very emotionally difficult because it's scary. And it threatens things that are important to us, like our way of life. It might even make people feel guilty that they are contributing to climate change.

So people are very good at not thinking about things that are unpleasant to think about. I want to mention a last thing, which is I think very important in this country particularly today, is a social framework in which there's certainly increasing awareness and acceptance of the reality of climate change. But there's still very strong support for denial. So if you want to deny it, you can find people to agree with you. So if everybody else was saying, "No, we know climate change is happening," it would be hard to be the one person who was saying no, I don't believe it. But there are clearly significant figures out there who are encouraging you in your denial.

So that is also another reason why it's hard for people to confront reality. We are a problem solving species, and we've dealt with pretty significant problems in the past, and I'm sure we'll have more problems in the future. So people are learning capabilities of humans are just astonishing.

Behavior can change on a dime. And for any of us who are over 20 years old, right? We remember what the world was like before iPhones. That technology has just transformed the way we do almost everything. And I shouldn't just say iPhone, but smartphones. So I think that is a human strength that's going to be very important here is our ability to learn, to be flexible, and to change.

And we do respond to climate change. We are affected by stories we hear about it. So it may be hard to understand the science, but if we read these very evocative stories of a particular individual or a particular community, that helps people to come to grips with it, I think. Kristin Hayes : And I want to just hone in on one thing that you mentioned too, this question around guilt.

I just want to ask, what does the research tell us about guilt as a motivator for action? I have no idea the answer to this question, but I'd be really curious to know whether there are some trends that you've seen, particularly for these things where I do think in many ways, people feel like they're just living their lives.

Traveling to work, flying to see their families. And that has translated into a sense of guilt around climate change. But I think that's a hard thing to stomach when you feel like you're again, just living your life. So any thoughts on guilt as a motivator for behavioral change? Susan Clayton : Yeah, that's a really good question. I would say the research does suggest the guilt can be an effective motivator. But it's far from guaranteed that it will have that impact. I think because guilt is such an unpleasant emotion.

And I suspect that there are individual differences here. Some people are more responsive than others to a guilt appeal, where the other people just want to immediately, their response is going to be, "No, it's not my fault. So guilt can I think in some cases make some people more resistant to the message. I think the larger comment here on your question is that different people do respond to different messages, so there's no one size fits all in terms of getting people to take action on climate change.

Adam R. Pearson and Matthew T. Ballew

So much like we talk about with the policy levers where there's no silver bullet, there's probably no silver bullet for the behavior change either. Well, it's important I guess that we keep experimenting then and that researchers like you keep learning about what works at different settings.

Part of me wants to ask one question about if you had a piece of advice for policymakers what would you, as a psychologist, advise them to take into consideration as they're thinking about policy instruments? What do you think about that? Susan Clayton : Well to be honest, my advice would be consult some psychologists. Again, it depends on what kind of behavior they're trying to change and what the context is. But it would be good to get some input from people who study human behavior.

Let me back up a little bit and give a broader response. Human behavior is complicated. You can't necessarily assume people will react in the way you think they're going to. So it's good to talk to somebody who might have some research that will help predict how people might respond in a particular setting.

Is coming to realize just how important that human behavior is when understanding the efficacy of any of these policy instruments. Certainly you can model things, but deeply understanding how people respond to incentives, how they respond to things like guilt and peer reactions, is increasingly important for how economists think about these questions too.

So I agree with you. Psychologists are a necessary component of this building the big picture here.


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Well Susan, I've really enjoyed this conversation and I wanted to close our podcast with our usual ending feature, top of the stack. So Susan, what would you recommend to our listeners? Something that's on the top of your reading list, or your listening list, or your watching list that you think are our listening public would find interesting? Susan Clayton : Well that's a tough question, because there's such a broad universe of things.

Identity and the Natural Environment | The MIT Press

But the thing that occurred to me to respond to this question is a book I read actually earlier this spring by Elizabeth Rush called Rising. Susan Clayton : And the author is a writer, that's her job. She teaches writing. In this book, she traveled around the United States essentially looking at specific individuals' stories as a way to examine how we'll be affected by a changing climate, and also how we can respond.

So she really personalized the experience of climate change. And she calls it Rising obviously in reference to rising sea levels, but talks about other aspects as well. One reason I like this book was that it was so at such a personal level, but also it demystified climate change a little bit. It's like okay, let's face it. It's happening.

Here's what it looks like. Here's what people are doing in response. So I would recommend it. Well Great. That's great. And I will note that my top of the stack is very relevant for our conversation today. I've actually really enjoyed learning about the psychology of climate change, and have been doing a little extra reading.

So on the top of my stack is a guide that was produced by the Columbia Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. It was put out about a decade ago, but I came across it recently and I found it very intriguing once again.

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And so with that, I'll close the podcast by thanking you again, Susan, for joining us on Resources Radio. It was a pleasure to talk with you. Kristin Hayes : Thank you so much for joining us on Resources Radio. We'd love to hear what you think. So please rate us on iTunes or leave us a review. It helps us spread the word. Also, feel free to send us your suggestions for future episodes. Resources Radio is a podcast from Resources for the Future.

Our mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. Learn more about us at rff. Kristin Hayes : The views expressed on this podcast are solely of the participants. They do not necessarily represent the views of Resources for the Future, which does not take institutional positions on public policies. Join us next week for another episode. Program Director, Energy and Climate. Associate Editor. Identity Psychology Omgevingspsychologie. Social Identification. Summary The often impassionated nature of environmental conflicts can be attributed to the fact that they are bound up with our sense of personal and social identity.

This volume examines the ways in which our sense of who we are affects our relationship with nature, and visa versa. Kahn, Jr. Notes Formerly CIP. Includes bibliographical references and index. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Casuarina Campus Library. Open to the public ; Black Mountain Library. May not be open to the public ; FLOR Edith Cowan University Library.

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Identity and the Natural Environment

Overview Author s Praise. Summary The often impassioned nature of environmental conflicts can be attributed to the fact that they are bound up with our sense of personal and social identity. Share Share Share email. Endorsements Anyone interested in how people come to identify with the natural environment and how such identification in turn affects behavior must read this book. Riley E. Dunlap Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University Identity and the Natural Environment is a fascinating book on many levels, dealing with topics of the utmost importance for our future well-being—even our survival as a species.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Claremont Graduate University, and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Identity and the Natural Environment is a superb anthology of interdisciplinary research, conceptually organized to get to the heart of a crucial question: how are ecological awareness and activism linked to core identity? Mitchell S.

Thomashow Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch New England Graduate School, author of Bringing the Biosphere Home and Ecological Identity Identity and the Natural Environment is a fascinating book on many levels, dealing with topics of the utmost importance for our future well-being—even our survival as a species.