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Evolutionary psychology and contemporary behavioural framework for environmental policy
Lund University.
Kristianstad University, Research environment Man & Biosphere Health (MABH). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. (MABH)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1732-0372
2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the extent to which evolutionary psychology is applied in common behavioural frameworks that are used to explain, analyse and promote pro-environmental behaviour and inform environmental policy in the EU context. Such behavioural frameworks have been developed and analysed by for example the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Sustainable Practices Research Group.

Methods: A review of documents was conducted that consisted of contemporary behavioural frameworks related to environmental behaviour as well as environmental policy documents within the EU. We also reviewed previous efforts to link the field of evolutionary psychology to pro-environmental behaviour.

Results and Conclusions: The results show that contemporary behavioural frameworks for environmental policy lack an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary-related behavioural theory is mentioned once, as ‘sexual signaling’ theory by the Ecologic Institute (2014). The behavioural theories informing contemporary frameworks and recommendations are predominantly drawing on the fields of social and cognitive psychology, behavioural economics and sociology. The current narrative on behaviour change is primarily focused on personal responsibility and choice, and how these are shaped by individual’s attitudes and values. We argue that an evolutionary consideration of behaviour could be beneficial when designing environmental policies that aim to take into account individuals mechanisms for motivation and behaviour. A combination of instruments that target innate psychological mechanisms could be used to promote pro-environmental behaviour and such instruments could aid policy-makers and environmental campaigners in developing strategies. The evolutionary perspective is to be regarded as a complementary framework for analysis of behavioural change and is not intended to replace the contemporary frameworks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-14847OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-14847DiVA: diva2:857469
Conference
European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference (EHBEA), Helsinki 29 march - 1 April 2015.
Funder
Åke Wiberg Foundation
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2015-11-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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http://www.helsinki.fi/psychology/EHBEA/

Authority records BETA

Jönsson, K. Ingemar

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Research environment Man & Biosphere Health (MABH)Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf