An Evolutionary Approach Toward Pro-environmental Behavior

Abstract

It is often thought that environmental campaigns aimed at changing human behavior to be more environmentally friendly should target individuals’ intrinsic values and other personal variables. An evolutionary approach to human behavior, however, proposes a different perspective for tackling the pressing environmental issues of our times by making use of (rather than trying to change) our innate behavioral tendencies to make pro-environmental behavior the default and most adaptive option. The presented evolutionary approach proposes that changing behavioral outcomes might be more prudent than trying to change people. Better environmental and social outcomes are possible if we were to make use of our evolutionary past rather than fight it.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Eurostat Statistics Explained, Waste statistics [http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Waste_statistics]

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Poškus, M.S. An Evolutionary Approach Toward Pro-environmental Behavior. Evolutionary Psychological Science (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40806-020-00253-x

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Keywords

  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Evolution
  • Persuasion
  • Policy
  • Design for sustainability