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PSYCH253 Lecture Notes - Diminishing Returns, Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell

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Steve Spencer

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Big Yellow Taxi Joni Mitchell
Social Psychology and the Environment
1. How many people are too many?
*The number of people around has a big impact; population density has an effect
What is the Earth’s carrying capacity?
-There are a lot of people in the world because of energy usage.
Global warming as a result of too many people
-Having all of these extra people, people want to eat. In order for us to eat, we have to replace
food to sustain lots of people up to the usage of chemical fertilizers.
Crowding and Perceived Control
- Put the Ps and crowd them all in one room.
- Not crowded:
- Crowded:
- Crowded with perceived Control:
- If we think about having so many people in the world, you’ll going to have a decrease in
- Crowding makes it difficult to solve problems
Crowding and Violence
2. Social Dilemmas- occurs in situations where there are scars resources
Prisoner’s Dilemma
- Imagine two people who were accomplices of a crime. Robbed the bank, hide the money.
The police arrested the both of them and put them in a different room.
- There’s an incentive for you to confess. You confess, you get a lighter sentence, you get the
- If you both confess, you’ll not have a lighter sentence, not get the money, and no incentives.
- If both do not confess, there’s no money and no sentence.
- The best group outcome is not the best individual outcome
- If you do what’s best overall, you’ll do what’s not best for yourself.
- In terms of environment, what’s best for the planet is not what’s best for me individually. If
I’m acting my own interest, it wouldn’t be the interest of everyone.
Tragedy of the Commons
- Social dilemma that is most relevant to the environment
- People must use their own lands in able to the common land must be developed
- But people overused the common land and it was destroyed
- If everybody keeps on getting more than of their shares, everyone is screwed.
- Key ingredient: People must have a better relationship with other people under their
common lands
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