chapter  5
50 Pages

Environmental behavioural change and the psychology of influence

With Franks Benjamin , Hanscomb Stuart , Johnston Sean F.

Whereas the previous three chapters have concentrated on the varieties of environmental ethics that have emerged since The Enlightenment, the next five are concerned with different approaches to environmental behavioural change and their ethical implications. Chapters 5 and 6 address the psychological principles, strategies and tactics which governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), businesses and other organisations employ in their attempts to influence environmental attitudes and behaviours. With particular reference to climate change, Chapter 5 identifies barriers to environmental behavioural change based on recent research in fields such as environmental psychology and environmental communication. For each of these barriers, the ways in which we might overcome them are discussed, along with a consideration of virtues that could help individuals and communities to achieve these goals. This culminates in a distinctive subset of environmental virtues which complements those – such as reverence for life and respect for nature – that have so far emerged in the book. Chapter 6 looks at ethical issues associated with the psychology of influence, with a specific focus on the practices of social marketing and what is known as ‘nudge’.