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PSYC 391
Jeremy Carpendale

Readings: Jan 13  Apocalypse Soon?: Dire Messages Reduce Belief in Global Warming by Contradicting Just-World Beliefs Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer The first step of the model :potential helper must notice the event in question. Stage 2: Interpreting the Event as an Emergency.. cost benefit The third step requires individuals to feel a sense of personal responsibility to aid the distressed other. One key determinant of feeling responsible is having a sense of “we-ness” or connectedness to the victim Stage 4: Knowing What to Do Stage 5: Implementing the Required Acts 22 January Frantz C.M., & Meyer, F.S. (2009). The emergency of climate change: Why are  we failing to take action? Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9 , 205­222 . 1) helper must notice the event in question. 2) he second step requires the potential helper to interpret the event as an emergency situation; if it is not seen as an emergency, helping will not occur. 3) The third step requires individuals to feel a sense of personal responsibility to aid the distressed other. 4) Knowing what to do (the fourth step) and actually deciding to act (the fifth step) are also required before help will be given in an emergency. People will not help if they feel that their personal resources are insufficient to effectively cope with the emergency The cost/benefit analysis that overrides these stages is especially relevant from Stages 2 through 5. For instance, we have already mentioned how a person might not want to overreact in a potential emergency situation for fear of losing the approval of others. Gifford, R. (2011). The dragons of inaction: Psychological barriers that limit  climate change mitigation.   American Psychologist, 66,   290­302  . 3 February O’Brien, C. (2008). Sustainable happiness: How happiness studies can contribute  to a more sustainable future. Canadian Psychology, 49, 289­295. One is to debunk the outdated paradigm that economic growth equals development... The second challenge is the popular assumption that consumption leads to happiness. Sustainable happiness is a concept that can be used by individ- uals to guide their actions and decisions on a daily basis; at the community level, it reinforces the need to genuinely consider social, environmental and economic indicators of well-being so that community happiness and well-being are sustainable; at the national and international level it highlights the significance of individual and community actions for the well- being of all —now and into the future. Uzzell, D., & Räthzel, N. (2009). Transforming environmental psychology.  Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29, 340­350. ause and consequence of their relations to others and the environment. Therefore environmental psychology should give priority to examining the reciprocity between people and environment and the ways in which they mutually reproduce the material conditions for their existence. Drawing on the example of sustainable develop- ment, we argue that any attempt to develop a sustainable society has to understand how the relation- ships between individuals and their social contexts can be changed. Thus the emphasis in a transformative environmental psychology should shift to the relations of production and consumption and the social and political relations within which values, attitudes and reproduced.are formed, and unsustainable ways of living and working as well as the environment are produced and We summarise our principal conclusions as follows. Behaviours need to be analysed in their specific social and environmental contexts and within the larger context of the consumer societies in which we live. Environmental psychology has typically focussed on the users or consumers of those societies and environments. This has inevitably put people in a particular consuming, and paradox- ically controlling as well as dependency relationship with the environment. Consequently, now it is becoming apparent that current levels of consumption in Western and aspiring Western societies are unsustainable, governments are concerned to reduce consumption levels through changing the behaviours of consumers. Western societies are characterised by the need for companies to position their products in the market and generate a need and demand for increased consumption, and in many cases at any cost, in order to ensure escalating profits and continued national economic growth. This has led us to suggest a reformula- tion of sustainable development to include relations of production and consumption and the political relations that produce envi- ronmentally damaging ways of producing and consuming. Such a reformulation inevitably poses critical questions for environ- mental psychology and challenges environmental psychology to address these complex relationships in such a way as to see the relationships between individuals, society and the environment as mutually constitutive and reciprocal. 5 February Heath, Y., & Gifford, R. (2006). Free­market ideology and environmental  degradation: The case of belief in global climate change. Environment and  Behavior, 38, 48­71.  survey of community residents’ (N = 185) beliefs about global climate change also assessed ecocentrism, anthropocentrism, perceived knowledge about cli- mate change, and self-efficacy. The beliefs that global climate change is not occur- ring, is mainly not human caused, will also have positive consequences and that weaker intentions to undertake ameliorative actions were significantly associated with greater support for free- market ideology, greater environmental apathy, less ecocentrism, and less self-efficacy. About 40% of the variance in each belief and 56% of the variance in the behavioral intention was explained by these factors. The results suggest that the relation between support for free-market ideology and the beliefs about global climate change is mediated by environmental apathy. he current study sheds light on the psychological mechanisms related to lay beliefs and intentions associated with global climate change. If climate change is indeed occurring, importantly caused by human actions, and will have negative consequences, then these results will help point the way toward changing behavior. Takala (1991) stated that the first necessary step to tackle the problems of global climate change is to systematically describe how peo- ple perceive environmental problems and how they become aware of risks. The current study is one step toward this endeavor. 24 February Czopp, A.M. (2013). The passive activist: Negative consequences of failing to  confront antienvironmental statements. Ecopsychology, 5, 17­23. Interpersonal confrontations are a means of expressing one’s dis- pleasure or disagreement with the actions of others and are effective in influencing others’ future behaviors. In contrast, inaction, espe- cially from one expected to speak out, may be misperceived as passive acceptance and may promote a social norm inconsistent with the non-responder’s actual beliefs. Participants watched a video discussion between two college students with clear pro- and anti- environmental beliefs. Prior to the discussion, half the participants were given information to suggest that the proenvironmental speaker had a strong background in environmental activism (creating high expectancy to confront). During the discussion, the proenviron- mental speaker either confronted or did not confront the anti- environmental speaker. Relative to the confrontation condition, participants reported less favorable recycling attitudes and decreased intentions to recycle when the high-expectancy speaker did not confront compared to when the low- expectancy speaker did not confront. These findings are discussed in the context of the costs and benefits of confronting versus not confronting. Smith, J.R., Louis, W.R., Terry, D.J., Greenaway, K.H., Clarke, M.R., & Cheng, X.  (2012). Congruent or conflicted? The impact of injunctive and descriptive norms  on environmental intentions.   Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32  , 353­363.   Two experiments examine the interplay of injunctive and descriptive norms on intentions to engage in pro- environmental behavior. In Experiment 1,Australian participants were exposed to supportive or unsupportive group injunctive and descriptive norm was associated with weaker behavioral intentions: The beneficial effects of ap-level supportive injunctive norm were undermined when presented with an unsupportive descriptive norm. Experiment 2 replicated this effect in both a Western (UK) and non-Western (China) context, and found that the extent to which norms were aligned or not determined intentions even after controlling for attitudes, perceptions of control, and interpersonal-level injunctive and descriptive norms. These experiments demonstrate that conflict between injunctive and descriptive norms leads to weaker intentions to engage in pro-environmental behavior, highlighting the need to consider the interplay between injunctive and descriptive norms to understand how norms influence behavioral intentions. Sussman, R., & Gifford, R. (2011). Be the change you want to see: Modeling food  composting in public places. Environment and Behavior, 45, 323­343.  Composting biodegradable material is an effective means of reducing landfill  waste and improving the state of the environment. To encourage the use of public  compost bins, two interventions were introduced in community shopping center  food courts and a local, independently owned fast food restaurant: tabletop signs  outlining the benefits of composting and models who demonstrated the behavior.  When diners (n = 540) viewed confederate models composting ahead of them,  they were more likely to compost as well (p < .001). However, the signs did not  significantly influence composting rates, either alone (p > .05) or in combination  with the models (p > .05). Results support the idea that proenvironmental actions  can influence similar behavior in others and may be more effective than signage in  doing so. e most common reason given for not composting was a lack of understanding of what should be composted. Possibly, with time and further experience, this barrier to composting could be reduced. No interview comments suggested the signs or models were responsible for appropriate composting, but this was demonstrated statistically. Possibly, diners did not recall being influ- enced by them or did not think their influence was particularly important. 26 February Bratanova, B., Loughnan, S., & Gatersleben, B. (2012). The moral circle as a  common motivational cause of cross­situational pro­environmentalism. European  Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 539­545. Public engagement in pro-environmental behavior and support for pro- environmental policy are essential for achieving sustain- able living. We propose that the “moral circle” is a common motivational source for engagement in environmentally beneficial activities across situations and may be thus drawn upon to efficiently promote these activities. Study 1 established an association between chronic moral circle size and nine pro-environmental activities from different domains. Via experimental manipulation of the moral circle size, Studies 2a–d demonstrated its causal effect on intentions to engage in pro-environmental activities. Together, these studies offer an important initial demonstration of the beneficial consequences of more expansive moral circle in the domain of pro- environmentalism. In a series of five studies, we demonstrated a link between moral circle size and willingness to engage in a range of pro-environmental activities. Study 1 showed that a chroni- cally expansive moral circle is positively associated with pro- environmental activities as diverse as money allocation to pro-environmental initiatives, support for environmentally beneficial policies, and intentions for energy saving and sustainable food consumption behaviors. Studies 2a–d estab- lished that the moral circle size is causally predictive of pro- environmental activities. 5 March Kahn, P.H., Severson, R.L., & Ruckert, J.H. (2009). The human relationship with  nature and technological nature. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18,  37­42. world trends are powerfully reshaping human existence: the degradation, if not destruction, of large parts of the natural world, and unprecedented technological development. At first glance, such a finding would speak to how we can improve human life: When actual nature is not available, substitute technological nature. But such substi- tutions contribute to an insidious problem. described earlier, results showed that a significant number of the children understood the idea of air pollution; but they did not believe that Houston had such a problem even though Houston was then (and still remains) one of the most polluted cities in the United States. In interpreting these results, Kahn and Friedman suggested that these children may have lacked a comparative experiential baseline from areas with less pollution by which to recognize that Houston was itself polluted. Granted, it is not possible to exclude the counterexplanation that the children had simply not yet learned about their local pollution. Nonetheless, the comparative-baseline interpretation is con- sistent with the phenomenon of the ‘‘shifting baseline’’as de- scribed by other researchers. P Essentially, this syndrome has arisen because each generation of fisheries scientists accepts as a baseline the stock size and species composition that occurred at the beginning of their careers, and uses this to evaluate changes. When the next generation starts its career, the stocks have further declined, but it is the stocks at that time that serve as a new baseline. The result obviously is a gradual shift of the baseline, a gradual accommodation of the creeping disappearance of resource species. . . . (p. 430) that members of each generation construct their conception of what is environmentally normal based on the natural world they encountered in childhood. The crux is that, with each ensuing generation, the amount of environmental degradation can increase, but each generation tends to take that degraded condition as the nondegraded condition—that is, as the normal experience—a condition that Kahn (1999, 2002) has terme Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A.K., & Ryan, R.M. (2009). Can nature make us more  caring? Effects of immersion in nature on intrinsic aspirations and generosity.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1315­1329. studies examined the effects of nature on valuing intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. Intrinsic aspirations reflected prosocial and other-focused value orientations, and extrinsic aspirations predicted self-focused value orientations. Participants immersed in natural environ- ments reported higher valuing of intrinsic aspirations and lower valuing of extrinsic aspirations, whereas those immersed in non-natural environments reported increased valuing of extrinsic aspirations and no change of intrinsic aspirations. Three studies explored experi- ences of nature relatedness and autonomy as underlying mechanisms of these effects, showing that nature immer- sion elicited these processes whereas non- nature immer- sion thwarted them and that they in turn predicted higher intrinsic and lower extrinsic aspirations. Studies 3 and 4 also extended the paradigm by testing these effects on generous decision making indicative of valuing intrinsic versus extrinsic aspirations. Participants were randomly assigned to either a nature or non-nature condition. They first completed a package of questionnaires including assessments of intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations among filler scales. Following this, participants in the nature condition viewed slides showing natural settings and those in the non-nature condition viewed slides depicting cityscapes. While viewing slides, participants listened, using head- phones, to a recorded script designed to orient them to the experience of being in each setting. The same script was used for both conditions (for a complete script, see the appendix). After the manipulation, participants com- pleted a second packet of questionnaires that assessed their intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations for a second time, as well as positive affect and immersion. Abrams, L. (2013, January). When trees die, people die. The Atlantic. Retrieved  from:­trees­die­people­ die/267322/ The blight was first detected in June 2002, when the trees in Canton, Michigan,  got sick. The culprit, the emerald ash borer, had arrived from overseas, and it  rapidly spread ­­ a literal bug ­­ across state and national lines to Ohio, Minnesota,  Ontario. It popped up in more distant, seemingly random locations as infested  trees were unwittingly shipped beyond the Midwest. ound increased mortality rates. Specifically, more people were dying of  cardiovascular and lower respiratory tract illness ­­ the first and third most  common causes of death in the U.S. As the infestation took over in each of these  places, the connection to poor health strengthened. 10 March Jackson, L.M. (2011). Toward a wider lens: Prejudice and natural world. In L.M.  Jackson, The psychology of prejudice: From attitudes to social action (pp. 137­ 158). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. At theAamjiwaang First Nations reserve near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, residents suffer from unusually high levels of diabetes, thyroid problems, asthma, skin rashes, miscarriage, and chronic headaches (Dubinski, 2007). Beside a creek where children used to play and deer and birds and other ani- mals continue to drink stands a sign with a skull and crossbones followed by the warning that the creek contains toxins known to be linked to serious health risks. Surrounding the reservation on three sides are 52 industrial plants, primarily linked to the petrochemical industry. Soil and sediment tests in the area have revealed heavy contamination by numerous pollutants known to cause health risks, and epidemiological research has shown altered reproductive patterns in both humans and animals that are likely linked to the environmental toxicity (E. Hood, 2005). On the other side of the coun- try inAlberta, in the areas surrounding theAthabasca oil sands (an area in the northern part of the province where oil is extracted from deposits of sand, clay, and water), First Nations communities suffer from high rates of thyroid diseases and rare cancers. Some in these communities are employed at the oil sands “raking in the carcasses of ducks floating on vast pools of rotten water, the by-product of the sands’ oil-extraction methods” people who are more prejudiced seem to be less concerned about the environment (Chandler & Dreger, 1993). In addi- tion, environmental crises increase the risk of prejudice and conflict between groups as groups compete over access to increasingly scarce natural resources (Homer-Dixon, Boutwell, & Rathjens, 1993). Mo As this chapter’s opening example showed, across NorthAmerica minor- ity groups are disproportionately exposed to environmental contaminants, a problem known as environmental inequality (e.g., Mohai & Saha, 2007) or environmental racism (e.g., Santiago-Rivera, Talka, & Tully, 2006). In Canada, the problem exists for First Nations people and a variety of other groups. Immigrant and refugee groups as well as low-income people are also exposed to more environmental burdens than are more privileged groups because of the proximity between industries that generate pollution and communities in which underprivileged groups often live (Jafri, 2008). In the United States, race and ethnicity are among the best predictors of exposure to environmen- tal pollution; r Specisim ** 12 March Scannell, L., & Gifford, R. (2010). The relations between natural and civic place  attachment and pro­environmental behavior. Journal of Environmental  Psychology, 30, 289­297. community sample of residents (N 1⁄4 104) from two proximate towns with different environmental reputations reported the strength of their civic and natural place attachment, their performance of various pro-environmental behaviors, and a number of sociodemographic characteristics. Regression analyses revealed that natural
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