If We Build It, People Will Want to Help: The Management of Citizen Participation in Conservation Psychology

Human Ecology Review (Impact Factor: 0.92). 01/2003; 10(2):162-163.


When envisioning how conservation psychology might progress, three themes emerge: 1. Use multiple motives. People participate for many reasons, and conservation psychology should use them all. Significant among these is self interest, including human fascination with problem-solving, the drive to broaden our competence, the clarity gained from direct action, and the sense of purpose derived from meaningful work. Whatever else conservation psychology uses to motivate participation, it can leverage the effect by also working with (rather than against) these various forms of self-interest. We will increase citizen involvement when we are sensitive to the multiple goals people strive for, creating settings that allow for simultaneous pursuit of these goals within the constraint of sustainability. 2. Capitalize on local knowledge. Useful knowledge is not exclusively held by researchers and practitioners. The knowledge held by citizens is no less applicable than ours. In fact, their competence with regard to local issues can exceed ours. For conservation psychology to progress we need to understand that undervaluing local knowledge will impede our goal of sustainability. 3. Anticipate lifelong participation. People are motivated to participate long after we have done our job and left. People have lifelong involvement in whatever changes are made to their behavior and environment. Therefore conservation psychology must design interventions that expect to be modified and adapted. In fact, we need designs that take advantage of the tendency in humans to tinker with their world.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Jan 01, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Consumer policy can empower consumers for changing lifestyles by reducing personal constraints and limitations, but it should also attempt to loosen some of the external constraints that make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle difficult. In terms of reducing consumers' subjectively felt restrictions on their ability to change lifestyle, the two approaches are equivalent. Policies that increase a feeling of empowerment may also have a positive effect on consumers' motivation to make an effort, thus amplifying its effects. In this paper both types of constraints on lifestyle changes in a sustainable direction are discussed as well as policies for reducing constraints. Possible motivational effects of the proposed policies are also outlined.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2005 · Journal of Consumer Policy