University of Twente Student Theses


Using futures consciousness to imagine a desired post-Corona future with environmental concerns: A qualitative analysis

Starck, A.M. (2021) Using futures consciousness to imagine a desired post-Corona future with environmental concerns: A qualitative analysis.

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Abstract:The Corona crisis has changed the perception of the environment for many individuals. The concept of environmental concern (EC) plays a new role as a result of the changes, as does the ability to imagine the pathways of the future, which is referred to as futures consciousness (FC). In the context of the pandemic, some people may have gained a new vision of what a desirable image of the environment should look like in a post-Corona future. The focus of this paper is on what these positive images of a post-Corona future might look like. A collabora-tion of several universities in different countries collected letters about such a post-Corona fu-ture in an online study in the general population. For this thesis, 30 letters were qualitatively analyzed using the context-sensitive FC model developed by Sools et al. (in press). The model consists of five interrelated dimensions, Time Perspective, Attribution of Agency, Openness to Alternatives, Systems Perception, and Concern for Others. Furthermore, to investigate how strongly EC is manifested in the letters, a coding scheme was developed to analyze EC based on: (a) content, e.g., number of environment-related topics, (b) linguistic markers, e.g., in-text passion indicators and (c) the proportion of text dedicated to the environment in a letter. The results showed that letters high in EC portrayed a higher attribution of agency, systems per-ception, and a more specified focus on social and environmental concerns in contrast to the low EC group. This can imply that people in the high EC group have a more specific image of actions to change the future, a deeper understanding of underlying connections between global and societal levels, and care for social matters more than for individual ones compared to people in the low EC group. Yet, especially in terms of time perspectives and openness to alternatives in particular, all participants showed similar patterns.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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