Hanne M. Watkins Research Studies If Behavior Can Be Changed on Climate Crisis

photo of Hanne M. Watkins

One of the more complex problems facing social psychologists today is whether any intervention can move people to change their behavior about climate change and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations. Now researchers Hanne Melgård Watkins at UMass Amherst and Geoffrey Goodwin at the University of Pennsylvania report after their recent experiments that an intergenerational reciprocity approach ­– asking people to reflect on sacrifices made in the past by others for their benefit today – may generate gratitude and a sense of moral obligation to people in the future. Details of their studies exploring this are online in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. (Science Daily, Health Medicine Network, 11/20/19; News Office release).