Collective responsibility framing also leads to mitigation behavior in East Asia: a replication study in Taiwan
Mitigating climate change will require the participation of citizens and consumers. A recent study in Climatic Change by Obradovich and Guenther reported that framing responsibility for climate change in terms of collective—as opposed to personal—behaviors generated greater donations to environmental groups as well as higher self-reported levels of willingness to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviors. As East Asia is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases globally, these findings are or clear relevance to the region. Nonetheless, recent findings in cultural psychology suggest that this framing intervention may not have the same results in an East Asian cultural context. We therefore sought to determine whether these findings could be replicated in East Asia. For this study, 2085 university students in Taiwan were randomly assigned to receive either a collective responsibility priming task, a personal responsibility priming task, or a daily routine priming task (control). They were then given the opportunity to donate to a climate-related cause and asked to report on their likelihood of changing their personal behaviors to reduce carbon emissions. Participants in the collective and personal conditions donated significantly more than those in the control condition and those in the personal responsibility condition reported significantly lower probabilities of changing their behaviors than those in both the control and collective responsibility conditions. Our study provides a partial replication with a different demographic group and in a different cultural setting, strengthening the argument for collective responsibility framing and setting the stage for research into practical implementations.
We are deeply grateful for the constructive comments and suggestions offered by the anonymous reviewers of the earlier versions of this manuscript.
Support for this study was from Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (grant number 104-2410-H-130-020).
- Bernauer T, McGrath LF (2016) Simple reframing unlikely to boost public support for climate policy. Nat Clim Chang. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2948
- Boden TA, Marland G, and Andres RJ (2017) National CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning, cement manufacture, and gas flaring: 1751–2014, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, doi https://doi.org/10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2017
- Burck J, Marten F, Bals C (2015) The climate change performance index: results 2016. Germanwatch, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Burck J, Marten F, Bals C, Hohne N (2017) The climate change performance index: results 2018. Germanwatch, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Economy Watch (2016) Implied PPP Conversion Rate Data for Year 2016, All Countries. Retrieved from http://www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/economic-indicators/Implied_PPP_Conversion_Rate/#yearListing
- EIA (2013) International Energy Outlook 2013. US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Google Scholar
- IBM Corp Released. (2011). IBM SPSS statistics for windows, version 20.0. Armonk: IBM CorpGoogle Scholar
- IPCC, 2018: Summary for policymakers. In: Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/summary-for-policy-makers/. Accessed Dec 2018
- Kitayama S, Park J (2013) Culture and the self: implications for consumer behavior. In: Ruvio AA, Belk RW (eds) The Routledge companion to identity and consumption. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
- Li, N, Su, LY (2018) Message framing and climate change communication: a meta-analytical review. J Appl Commun, 102(3), doi: https://doi.org/10.4148/1051-0834.2189
- Mascolo MF, Fischer KW, Li J (2003) Dynamic development of component systems in emotions: pride, shame and guilt in China and the United States. In: Davidson RJ, Schere KR, Goldsmith HH (eds) Handbook of affective sciences. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 375–408Google Scholar
- Mesquita B, Karasawa M (2004) Self-conscious emotions as dynamic cultural processes. Psychol Inq 15(2):161–166Google Scholar
- UNEP (2018) The emissions gap report 2018. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi http://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/26895/EGR2018_FullReport_EN.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y. Accessed Dec 2018
- Wallbott HG, Scherer KR (1995) Cultural determinants in experiencing shame and guilt. In: Tangney JP, Fischer KW (eds) Self-conscious emotions. The psychology of shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride. Guilford, New York, pp 465–487Google Scholar
- White H (1980) A heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimator and a direct test for heteroskedasticity. Journal of the Econometric Society, Econometrica, pp 817–838Google Scholar