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Behavioral Economics for the End of the World: Limitations on the use of Moral Foundations to Shift Environmental Attitudes

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posted on 07.10.2021, 21:05 by Max Gamerman
Feinberg and Willer (2013) present evidence that politically conservative individuals demonstrate differential response to pro-environmental messaging depending on the rhetorical approach that messaging uses. Messages which appeal to a purity / sanctity motive are more compelling for conservatives relative to messages which rhetorically employ language about minimizing harm (the two messaging styles to not differentially appeal to political liberals). We extend the work of Feinberg and Willer by (1) disambiguating the purity and sanctity motives, and (2) additionally testing the appeal of a motive which accentuates individual freedom. While we find a main effect of political party on pro-environmental attitudes, we do not find evidence of differential response to message type.





Mark Patterson


Social and Decision Sciences