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Keep degrowth or go rebirth? Regulatory focus theory and the support for a sustainable downscaling of production and consumption

Krpan, Dario ORCID: 0000-0002-3420-4672 and Basso, Frédéric ORCID: 0000-0003-3709-8331 (2021) Keep degrowth or go rebirth? Regulatory focus theory and the support for a sustainable downscaling of production and consumption. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 74. ISSN 0272-4944

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101586

Abstract

Considering that the growth model that dominates across the world is unsustainable, an increasing trend of publications indicates that transformative social change toward a “degrowth” economy is necessary to tackle climate change. Defined as an alternative sustainable social-economic model aiming for a downscaling of production and consumption, degrowth has been widely analyzed and documented in social and environmental sciences. However, despite this increasing academic interest, degrowth maintains a rather negative public perception, and remains under-researched in psychology. In a series of four online studies (N = 2408), collected in the US and UK, one of which was pre-registered and tested on a representative sample, our research investigated whether support for this alternative sustainable social-economic model could be influenced by its name labelling (Rebirth vs. Degrowth) and its definition framing (Promotion vs. Prevention), using the Regulatory Focus Theory. The main findings indicate that support for social change toward a degrowth economy increased when its definition was framed in terms of achieving positive consequences (Promotion) rather than avoiding negative consequences (Prevention), regardless of its name labelling. Overall, this article introduces the concept of degrowth to environmental psychology and in doing so hopes to inspire more psychological scientists to research this transformative social-economic model.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-e...
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 13:48
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 03:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/109879

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