Magazine article Psychology Today

What Can I Do?

Magazine article Psychology Today

What Can I Do?

Article excerpt

CLIMATE CHANGE is such a massive problem that the average person might doubt his or her ability to do anything about it. A recent study reported in the Journal ofExperimental Psychology: Applied suggests that a feeling of helplessness can discourage people from thinking of climate change-related acts as "good" or "wrong"-which could, in turn, work against efforts to counter the threat.

Study participants each read an article about the dangers of climate change, but for some, the reading portrayed eco-friendly deeds (like using the washing machine less frequently) as easy and worthwhile, while others read that such actions were challenging and ultimately fruitless. Later, the participants who were told that green behaviors didn't make a difference were less likely to think of conservation in moral terms. …

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