Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Sci. 2015 Feb;26(2):231-6. doi: 10.1177/0956797614561266. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

How will I be remembered? Conserving the environment for the sake of one's legacy.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University lz2261@columbia.edu emarkowitz@eco.umass.edu.
2
Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
3
Department of Psychology, Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University.

Abstract

Long time horizons and social distance are viewed as key psychological barriers to proenvironmental action, particularly regarding climate change. We suggest that these challenges can be turned into opportunities by making salient long-term goals and motives, thus shifting preferences between the present self and future others. We tested whether individuals' motivation to leave a positive legacy can be leveraged to increase engagement with climate change and other environmental problems. In a pilot study, we found that individual differences in legacy motivation were positively associated with proenvironmental behaviors and intentions. In a subsequent experiment, we demonstrated that priming legacy motives increased donations to an environmental charity, proenvironmental intentions, and climate-change beliefs. Domain-general legacy motives represent a previously understudied and powerful mechanism for promoting proenvironmental behavior.

KEYWORDS:

climate change; decision making; environmental effects; judgment; open data; open materials

PMID:
25560825
DOI:
10.1177/0956797614561266
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center