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2016 ISCN Awards: Innovative Collaboration

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Princeton University: Behavioral Science and the Environment: Results from Campus as Lab

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2016 ISCN Awards: Innovative Collaboration

  1. 1. Behavioral Science and the Environment: Results from Campus as Lab Shana S. Weber, Ph.D. Director, Office of Sustainability Sander van der Linden, Ph.D. Director, Social and Environmental Decision-Making (SED) Lab
  2. 2. Outline of Talk PA RT 1 – B E H AV I O R A L S C I E N C E A N D T H E E N V I R O N M E N T PA RT 2 – P R O - S O C I A L B E H AV I O R , E M PAT H Y, A N D I N T R I N S I C M O T I VAT I O N PA RT 3 – T H E P O W E R O F S O C I A L A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L N O R M S PA RT 4 – H O W B E H AV I O R A L S C I E N C E C A N I N F O R M S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y O N C A M P U S PA RT 5 – C O N C L U S I O N
  3. 3. Behavioral Science and the Environment • Behavioral science is an interdisciplinary field of study which aims to systematically analyze and investigate (human) behavior and decision- making through naturalistic observation and controlled experimentation. • Until recently, behavioral science has played a very limited role in informing public policy and institutional decision-making (Shafir, 2012). • Especially when it comes to climate, energy, and environmental policies (Dietz, Stern, & Weber, 2013; van der Linden, Maibach, & Leiserowitz, 2015). • National implementation of changes in individual lifestyles and behaviors could reduce direct emissions from households by 20% or 7.5% of US national emissions (Dietz et al., 2009). Dietz et al. 2009. Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce US carbon emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106(44), 18452-18456.
  4. 4. Behavioral Science and the Environment “Energy policies and programs need to replace outmoded assumptions about what drives human behavior; they must integrate insights from the social and behavioral sciences with those from engineering and economics” (Dietz, Stern, & Weber, 2013). Homo Economicus vs. Homo Sapiens
  5. 5. Human Motivation Extrinsic External pressure Short-term Intrinsic Internal processes, beliefs and emotions Long-term
  6. 6. “Do-it-in-the-Dark” Energy Conservation Competition
  7. 7. Wattvision Livestream http://www.wattvision.com/competition/princeton/
  8. 8. Wattvision Livestream http://www.wattvision.com/competition/princeton/
  9. 9. van der Linden, S. (2015). Intrinsic motivation and pro-environmental behaviour. Nature Climate Change, 5(7), 612-613.
  10. 10. van der Linden, S. (2015). Intrinsic motivation and pro-environmental behaviour. Nature Climate Change, 5(7), 612-613.
  11. 11. van der Linden, S. (2015). Intrinsic motivation and pro-environmental behaviour. Nature Climate Change, 5(7), 612-613.
  12. 12. Insights from psychological science
  13. 13. Empathy as an Evolved Capacity
  14. 14. Empathy as an Evolved Capacity
  15. 15. From feeling “good” to acting “good” • Longitudinal Survey Study • National Sample (N = 808 in Wave 1) and (N = 501 in Wave 2) • Anticipated positive (feel-good) “affect” from acting pro- environmentally vs. negative affect (e.g., guilt) from not acting. • Do our current dispositions predict our energy-conservation behavior 4 weeks later? van der Linden, S. (2015). The Social-Psychological Determinants of Climate Change Risk Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behaviors: A National Study. Environmental Education Research.
  16. 16. From feeling “good” to acting “good” • Longitudinal Survey Study • National Sample (N = 808 in Wave 1) and (N = 501 in Wave 2) • Anticipated positive (feel-good) “affect” from acting pro- environmentally vs. negative affect (e.g., guilt) from not acting. • Do our current dispositions predict our energy-conservation behavior 4 weeks later? van der Linden, S. (2015). The Social-Psychological Determinants of Climate Change Risk Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behaviors: A National Study. Environmental Education Research.
  17. 17. Experimental Treatments
  18. 18. The Power of Social and Institutional Norms
  19. 19. The Power of Social Norms • It is through social comparison with referent others that people validate the correctness of their opinions and decisions (Festinger, 1954). • Norms either describe how others are behaving (descriptive norms) or how one ought to behave (prescriptive norm).
  20. 20. The Power of Social Norms • It is through social comparison with referent others that people validate the correctness of their opinions and decisions (Festinger, 1954). • Norms either describe how others are behaving (descriptive norms) or how one ought to behave (prescriptive norm).
  21. 21. Institutional Norm-Signaling • An institution’s decisions and innovations signal what behaviors are common or desired within a group (Tankard & Paluck, 2015). • Institutional norm-signaling can influence behavior by setting the “anchor” or “default” behavior for the group. • Setting a “sustainable” alternative as the default may lead people to think that it is a prototypical behavioral choice for the group. Santos, J., & van der Linden, S. (2015). Changing Behavior by Changing Minds: The Princeton Drink Local Program.
  22. 22. The Princeton Drink Local Program Santos, J., & van der Linden, S. (in press, 2016). Changing Behavior by Changing Minds: The Princeton Drink Local Program. Environmental Practice. Cambridge University Press. University wide survey (N = 1,302)
  23. 23. The Princeton Drink Local Program University wide survey (N = 1,302) Santos, J., & van der Linden, S. (in press, 2016). Changing Behavior by Changing Minds: The Princeton Drink Local Program. Environmental Practice. Cambridge University Press.
  24. 24. The Princeton Drink Local Program University wide survey (N = 1,302) Santos, J., & van der Linden, S. (in press, 2016). Changing Behavior by Changing Minds: The Princeton Drink Local Program. Environmental Practice. Cambridge University Press.
  25. 25. The Princeton Drink Local Program University wide survey (N = 1,302) Santos, J., & van der Linden, S. (in press, 2016). Changing Behavior by Changing Minds: The Princeton Drink Local Program. Environmental Practice. Cambridge University Press.
  26. 26. Behavioral science can inform (energy) policy van der Linden, S., Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2015). How to Improve Public Engagement with Climate Change: Five “Best Practice” Insights from Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science.
  27. 27. Campus as Lab: Health and Environment • Decisions, Decisions
  28. 28. Conclusion • Behavioral science has an important role to play: • Directly reducing (carbon) emissions on campus and beyond. • Building bottom-up support among students, faculty, and staff for climate, energy, and sustainable policies and practices. • Humans are not hopelessly irrational and not (primarily) motivated by money and external incentives. • Behavioral science offers low-cost, scalable strategies to change human behavior in the long-term. • Behavioral responses to (new) technology and policies can be modeled and should be integrated in environmental and economic models.
  29. 29. Thank you Karen Gallagher-Teske, Angela Zhou, and Jess Santos, Lab Coordinators Shana Weber, Director, Office of Sustainability
  30. 30. The Psychology of Environmental Decision-Making ENE 561 / WWS 586C SANDER VAN DER LINDEN
  31. 31. Designing and Planning Sustainable Systems, Buildings, and University Campus!
  32. 32. • How do people process and perceive environmental risks? • Where do environmental values, attitudes and norms come from? • How we define ourselves relative to the natural world? • How can we design sustainable systems, buildings and places that also promote human happiness and well-being? • How can we effectively design and evaluate interventions that encourage pro-environmental behavior and decision-making? Behavioral Dimensions of Sustainability

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