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Stories of intentional action mobilise climate policy support and action intentions

Sabherwal, Anandita and Shreedhar, Ganga ORCID: 0000-0003-2517-2485 (2022) Stories of intentional action mobilise climate policy support and action intentions. Scientific Reports, 12 (1). p. 1179. ISSN 2045-2322

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41598-021-04392-4


What makes a climate story effective? We examined if short fiction stories about everyday pro-environmental behaviours motivate climate policy support, and individual and collective climate action in a nationally representative experiment (N = 903 UK adults). The story featuring protagonists driven by pro-environmental intentions (i.e., the intentional environmentalist narrative) increased participants’ support for pro-climate policies and intentions to take both individual and collective pro-environmental actions, more so than did stories featuring protagonists whose pro-environmental behaviours were driven by intentions to gain social status, to protect their health, and a control story. Participants’ stronger feelings of identification with the protagonist partially explained these effects of the intentional environmentalist narrative. Results highlight that narrating intentional, rather than unintentional, pro-environmental action can enhance readers’ climate policy support and intentions to perform pro-environmental action. Therefore, the intentions driving pro-environmental action may have implications for the extent to which observes identify with the actor and take pro-environmental action themselves.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors © 2022. The Author(s).
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2021 09:09
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 10:12

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