University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) > How Can the Behavioral Sciences Inform the Climate Crisis Response?

How Can the Behavioral Sciences Inform the Climate Crisis Response?

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The climate crisis is one of humanity‚Äôs most consequential and challenging threats, and addressing it requires massive behavioral and structural changes. As such, the behavioral sciences can play a critical role in this effort, through large-scale interventions and policy innovations. Following a unifying theoretical framework and leveraging a large array of methods, I investigate avenues in which the behavioral sciences can inform the climate crisis response, by changing false beliefs and stimulating climate action at the individual, collective, and system level. At the individual level, I use behavioral experiments to explore belief change strategies leveraging cognitive processes such as mnemonic accessibility, prediction errors, and emotional arousal, that can be used to decrease the prevalence of climate misinformation. At the collective level, I use social network analysis to investigate emergent properties of collective beliefs, such as synchronization and polarization, to maximize the effectiveness of individual interventions deployed in communities. At the system level, I investigate cycles of climate denialism propagation between society and artificial intelligence algorithms. Finally, to link conceptual processes to their behavioral signatures, I take a global megastudy approach to empirically test the relative effectiveness of the main theoretically informed behavioral interventions at stimulating collective climate action in 63 countries. Together, these theoretical insights spanning individual, collective, and systemic levels of analyses aim to inform policy and streamline the behavioral sciences’ response to the climate crisis.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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