Home Human communication People want to do good by nature. They just need a...

People want to do good by nature. They just need a boost, study shows

1
0
  • Subtle messages and cues can encourage tourists to adopt behaviors that protect the marine ecosystem, according to a new study.
  • Researchers conducted two field experiments, focusing on the use of plastic bags and snorkeling behavior, on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan, a popular destination for beachgoers.
  • Many tourists have the knowledge and responsibility to take environmentally friendly measures, but in practice they often fail due to contextual barriers.
  • The authors of the study urged stakeholders in the tourism sector to apply these approaches as a simple effort to reduce local impacts on the environment, especially marine ecosystems.

JAKARTA – “Do you need a plastic bag? Asks a store cashier. As bland as it sounds, this is the kind of question that appears to be an effective boost for tourists to take eco-friendly action, according to a study.

Giving subtle messages and clues is likely to encourage tourists to adopt behaviors that protect the marine ecosystem, a group of researchers concluded in their article published in the journal in February. Communication boundaries. They observed real changes in behavior using natural field experiments with different types of pro-environmental communication framing interventions and tested the effectiveness of these approaches.

Positively (left) and negatively (right) framed signs were placed on the store counter. Image courtesy of Nelson et al. (2021).

Many tourists have the knowledge and responsibility to take environmentally friendly action, but in practice they often fail due to contextual barriers, the study noted, describing the phenomenon as the “knowledge gap. and action ”.

“The knowledge / action divide exists because it is much easier to think in a certain way than to behave consistently in that way,” said lead author, Katherine Nelson said of Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research in Germany. “But providing a subtle clue can help us relieve some of the cognitive burden on our brain when we’re in a complex environment.”

Researchers conducted two field experiments, focusing on the use of plastic bags and snorkeling behavior, on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan, a popular destination for beachgoers. Plastic bags are a major polluter of the marine ecosystem, while snorkeling, if not done right, can pose an immediate threat to marine life; destructive behaviors include standing and walking on coral reefs, touching reefs, or hunting and touching marine animals such as turtles.

Scientists also observed differences in people’s behavior depending on whether they were faced with a written or face-to-face interaction with either a positive message – highlighting good results – or a negative message, focusing on bad results. of a specific action. .

Plastic trash can on the beach in Kuta, one of the popular tourist destinations on the Indonesian island of Bali. Image by Luh De Suriyani / Mongabay Indonesia.

In terms of using plastic bags, the authors found that tourists were more likely to refuse to use single-use bags when exposed to verbal and visual nudging. Research has also shown that pre-snorkeling instruction on safe underwater behavior is effective in reducing the damaging actions of divers to marine life.

“Our study highlights that an intervention can lead people to make better decisions by simply calling their attention to an issue,” said Nelson. “By providing a small signal, we can reduce barriers that get in the way and facilitate environmental behaviors. “

The authors urged stakeholders in the tourism sector to apply these approaches as a simple effort to reduce local impacts on the environment, especially marine ecosystems.

“A key thought is that the interventions tested here are very inexpensive and easy to implement,” Nelson wrote in the paper.

The study location was a convenience store called Coco Express, which is part of a retail chain. The store was chosen because it is one of the two busiest stores in Gili Trawangan. Image courtesy of Nelson et al. (2021).

Quote:

Nelson, KM, Bauer, MK and Partelow, S. (2021). Informational nudges to encourage pro-environmental behavior: examining differences in message framing and human interaction. Communication boundaries, 5, 610186. doi: 10.3389 / fcomm.2020.610186

COMMENTS: Use this form to send a message to the author of this article. If you want to post a public comment, you can do so at the bottom of the page.


Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here