27.04.2017 - Conférence de Gerhard Reese : Altogether now: Common human identity and pro-environmental action

Dans le cadre du séminaire de maîtrise de l'Orientation psychologie sociale, conférence de

Gerhard REESE
Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena, Allemagne

Altogether now: Common human identity and pro-environmental action

Jeudi 27 avril 2017 - 10h15 - Uni Dufour - Salle 159


Both social scientists as well as conservationists have come to the conclusion that human activity  is one of the main reasons for climate change and environmental degradation. So, with humans being largely responsible for the environment’s degradation, it is also humans who are capable of acting to protect the environment. Abroad literature on psychological factors determining pro-environmental action depicts the various pathways to understanding individuals’ responses to a worsening environment. However, these approaches tend to underestimate the importance of individual’s social embeddedness in human groups and societies. This talk presents an approach to understanding pro-environmental action that makes use of the largest social group: humanity. Based on social identity theory, I argue that a global identity –or a common human identity(CHI)- is a precursor of pro-environmental action. Specifically, this talk delineates how the representation of a “common human in group” inform beliefs about environmental justice, which in turn should motivate individuals and groups to act in favor of the natural environment. Empirical analysis of the World-Value-Survey (WVS) as well as correlational and experimental lab studies support the contention that social identification with all humans may represent a potentia lpath to pro-environmental action.

In Study 1, analysis of the WVS shows that stronger identification as global citizen predicts higher donations for environmental causes as well as support for pro-environmental policies. Study 2 shows that global identification predicts the propensity to choose an organic fairtrade bar over a conventional but larger chocolate bar. Study 3, using a large sample of the general population, shows that being respected as an equal predicts stronger global identity, which in turn relates to stronger pro-environmental intentions and behavior – beyond commonly used predictors of pro-environmental action (i.e., as explicated in the Theory of Planned Behavior). Finally, experimental evidence (Studies 4 and 5) reveals that manipulating global identity results in higher willingness to act pro-environmentally. In sum, these findings show that the more strongly people identify with all humans, the stronger their pro-environmental beliefs and actions. These findings are discussed with reference to limits of social identity theory, and intercultural challenges that go along with a "truly global" social identity.

29 mars 2017

Séminaires de psychologie