When it comes to our relationship to the environment, we have a lot to feel guilty about. That has led many environmental organizations to leverage that uncomfortable feeling. Don’t recycle that bottle, and it’ll probably end up in the ocean, where fish will eat the degraded plastic and die. How does that make you feel?
It turns out that this is not an optimal approach to promoting environmentally friendly behavior. Recent research concludes that, when it comes to saving the Earth, pride is a far stronger motivator than guilt.
“Our findings suggest a rethinking of environmental and climate-change messaging,” said Elke Weber, a psychologist affiliated with both Princeton University and Columbia University.
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