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Awe, perspective taking and pro-environmental behavior : a study on the effects of awe and perspective taking on pro-environmental behavior in the transition towards sustainable energy

Janssen, M.J.G. (2021) Awe, perspective taking and pro-environmental behavior : a study on the effects of awe and perspective taking on pro-environmental behavior in the transition towards sustainable energy.

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Abstract:The construction of wind turbines comes along with the resistance of local residents. This resistance happens even after surveys showing a collective acceptance of wind turbines, but when the construction plans become more concrete, people refuse to cooperate. To increase people’s acceptance of wind turbines, a more collective mindset has to be established. To this end, awe is induced with pictures of vast landscapes, and perspective taking is effectuated with textual manipulations. To study the separate and combined effects of awe and perspective taking on people’s pro-environmental behavior, a 2 (awe: high versus low) X 2 (perspective taking: high versus low) between-subjects design was conducted. This is done with an online experiment, where participants were confronted with a scenario study with a fictional case about the construction of wind turbines near their living environment. However, the online experiment did not show significant effects on people’s pro-environmental behavior. Further studies can investigate whether other types of stimuli (e.g., showing the fragility of nature) combined with other types of technology (e.g., Virtual Reality) are better for establishing a collective mindset, leading to increased pro-environmental behavior.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/85469
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