ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS <ul><li>Why & how do we get into them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S...
Attitudes—that get us into problems <ul><li>Rosy Optimism : ignore problems </li></ul><ul><li>Frontier Attitude : believe ...
Attitudes <ul><li>How do these attitudes lead to or perpetuate environmental problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Each of these att...
Is this how you feel? <ul><li>Get Fuzzy, 9/4/01 </li></ul>
Attitudes—that avoid problems <ul><li>Sustainability : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude that supports continuation & renewal...
Social Traps: Origin of Concept  <ul><li>Based on John Platt's 1973 paper in  American Psychologist .  </li></ul><ul><li>I...
Social Traps: Definition <ul><li>Any situation where what looks like a good choice to me right now turns out to be the wro...
Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>Occurs when there is a shared resource (e.g., air, water) </l...
Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons <ul><li>“ Commons” refers to community held pastures in colonial New E...
Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>Example: You and Air Pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you...
Time Delay Social Trap <ul><li>An action today results in a negative effect in the future. </li></ul><ul><li>The action on...
Time Delay Social Trap <ul><li>Example 1:  Nuclear Waste </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the short-term energy is gained, however...
Sliding Reinforcer Social Trap <ul><li>The first time the action occurs, the result is positive </li></ul><ul><li>Every ti...
Sliding Reinforcer Social Trap <ul><li>Example: Pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>The first time a pesticide is used, it is ver...
Externality Social Trap <ul><li>The negative repercussions are put on someone else (including other generations. </li></ul>
Externality Social Trap <ul><li>Example 1: using fossil fuels today will leave little for future generations </li></ul><ul...
Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Education : Let people know about all the long term consequences and the social trap that is...
Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Rules/Laws : Make rules/laws to stop people from doing the wrong thing. </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Change Trap to Tradeoff : Bring all the long term consequences up front. This way, even peop...
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Unit1a Social Traps

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Unit1a Social Traps

  1. 1. ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS <ul><li>Why & how do we get into them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social traps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we avoid them? </li></ul>
  2. 2. Attitudes—that get us into problems <ul><li>Rosy Optimism : ignore problems </li></ul><ul><li>Frontier Attitude : believe we will never run out </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Fix : trust science to solve all problems </li></ul><ul><li>Gloom-And-Doom : feel useless to stop problems </li></ul>
  3. 3. Attitudes <ul><li>How do these attitudes lead to or perpetuate environmental problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Each of these attitudes prevents people from taking action or doing something to fix problems. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Is this how you feel? <ul><li>Get Fuzzy, 9/4/01 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Attitudes—that avoid problems <ul><li>Sustainability : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude that supports continuation & renewal of life and life support systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses resources only at a rate that can be sustained (maintained) forever. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future. It relates to the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental aspects of human society, as well as the non-human environment </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Social Traps: Origin of Concept <ul><li>Based on John Platt's 1973 paper in American Psychologist . </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas continued to be developed in an interdisciplinary symposium held at the University of Michigan building upon the concept of the &quot; tragedy of the commons &quot; in Garrett Hardin 's pivotal article in Science (1968) </li></ul><ul><li>Platt, recognized that individuals operating for short-term positive reinforcement had a tendency to over-exploit the resource which led to a long-term negative loss to society. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Social Traps: Definition <ul><li>Any situation where what looks like a good choice to me right now turns out to be the wrong choice for society (usually including me) in the long run. </li></ul><ul><li>A situation in which a person, if they make a decision based on “me-here-now” perspective makes the wrong decision in the long-term/global context </li></ul>
  8. 8. Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>Occurs when there is a shared resource (e.g., air, water) </li></ul><ul><li>Each individual’s small effect adds up to a big problem when many people’s effects add together. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons <ul><li>“ Commons” refers to community held pastures in colonial New England villages </li></ul><ul><li>Each individual farmer’s cows only take a small amount of grass </li></ul><ul><li>As more cows are added the commons becomes overgrazed. </li></ul><ul><li>It is in farmer’s best interest to increase numbers of cows </li></ul><ul><li>Individual farmer gains wealth, however, costs of overgrazing shared by all. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Collective Social Trap Also “Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>Example: You and Air Pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you drive your car, you contribute only a small amount to the air pollution of your city </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, the combined total of all the cars driving in a city add up to a big problem </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Time Delay Social Trap <ul><li>An action today results in a negative effect in the future. </li></ul><ul><li>The action only has to happen once to initate the long term negative effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Something is gained in the short-term, but there are consequences to face in the long-term </li></ul>
  12. 12. Time Delay Social Trap <ul><li>Example 1: Nuclear Waste </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the short-term energy is gained, however in the long-term, there is the problem of radioactive waste disposal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example 2: Clear-cutting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear-cutting a forest results in lumber production, however in the future there are problems of erosion, flooding and loss of biodiversity </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Sliding Reinforcer Social Trap <ul><li>The first time the action occurs, the result is positive </li></ul><ul><li>Every time a behavior is repeated , the effects become less positive until they become increasingly negative </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sliding Reinforcer Social Trap <ul><li>Example: Pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>The first time a pesticide is used, it is very effective at killing pests </li></ul><ul><li>As pesticides use continues, pest resistance increases, so the amount and kinds of pesticides is increased </li></ul><ul><li>With each application of pesticides, pest resistance increases so more is used… </li></ul><ul><li>And down the line….as more is used the negative effects on the environment increase while benefits decrease </li></ul>
  15. 15. Externality Social Trap <ul><li>The negative repercussions are put on someone else (including other generations. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Externality Social Trap <ul><li>Example 1: using fossil fuels today will leave little for future generations </li></ul><ul><li>Example 2: River dumping…pollution affects those downstream </li></ul>
  17. 17. Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Education : Let people know about all the long term consequences and the social trap that is before them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People willingly cooperate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People may not cooperate </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Rules/Laws : Make rules/laws to stop people from doing the wrong thing. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People will follow the law or suffer the consequences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Laws are to be broken; hard to enforce </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Avoiding Social Traps <ul><li>Change Trap to Tradeoff : Bring all the long term consequences up front. This way, even people only thinking of me-here-now still make the right decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Pros? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It works </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is hard to determine long term and societal costs; all have to do it. </li></ul></ul>
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