The Psychology and Neuroeconomics of Pro-environmental Behavior
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For several years, society has faced climate change catastrophes ranging from wildfires to rising sea levels. To combat these effects, researchers have been focusing on creating technological and societal shifts. However, an area often overlooked and can provide greater benefit is understanding an individual's behavior and attempting to influence them. Pro-environmental Behavior, or PEB, is an individual's behavior that consciously reduces negative environmental impacts while improving environmental conditions. Research has shown the advantages of using behavioral and neuroeconomics to deepen our understanding of PEB to promote and nudge PEB. Though this interdisciplinary approach to climate change is relatively new and unexplored, researchers reveal it is a growing field.
This literature review provides an overview of PEB in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and marketing. The paper first examines the psychological factors, such as personality and motivation, that influence PEB and pro-environmental attitudes (PEA). It then analyzes neuroscience findings based on an individual's brain size and brain activation when engaging in sustainable behavior. Lastly, the paper applies the neuro findings to construct efficient marketing techniques for firms to apply to consumers and nudge sustainable behavior.
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