Effective education and communication strategies to promote environmental engagement : The role of social-psychological mechanisms
Cornwell, Francis James
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Communicators of climate change seek ways to better educate and motivate individuals to personally commit to sustainable, energy-saving activities. However, critical psychological and social barriers to conservation make this task challenging. Behavioral scientists are well aware of the difficulties that individuals and groups have in responding effectively to information surrounding climate change, and have used these insights to develop a number of techniques to aid in persuading people of the importance of the climate change issue, and motivating adaptive behavioral responses. This report consolidates research findings from behavioral economics, decision science, and social psychology to explore key insights and evidence around effective climate change education strategies and interventions aimed at enhancing conservation behaviors. We explore key findings from the behavioral and decision sciences, including analyses of cognitive bias, choice architecture, social influences, values, and communication strategies. In addition, we discuss a set of international, academic-private partnerships that used interventions suggested by behavioral science and psychological theory to dramatic effects. These in-depth case studies demonstrate how practitioners and researchers have put research insights and principles into practice. We conclude by addressing implications for policymakers.