As USA Today reports, a four-day meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston is bringing together 16,000 attendees to explore how people think about environmental protection.
Among the most interesting, yet-unpublished findings is that walking outside rather than inside even for just 15 minutes tends to make people feel happier, more energetic and more protective of the environment. Also, for most people, negative feedback about their ecological footprint undermines their environmental behavior. Not surprisingly, news stories that include global warming skeptics seriously undermine the public's concern over climate change.
In general, psychologists report that people are conscious that they should be doing more to protect the environment, yet they are confused about what to actually do. There are a lot of misconceptions about specific changes, and people easily throw up their hands in frustration, or out of a sense of feeling overwhelmed.
These final points were part of the impetus behind founding The Daily Green, which aims at providing typical consumers with the kind of easy-to-absorb, basic green information they need to make a positive difference.
More research into the thought processes behind green (and antigreen) behavior is sure to help make sure campaigns and programs are optimized for effectiveness. A great deal is at stake, so this frontier is an exciting one.
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