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The Utopias of Everyday People

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The Utopias of Everyday People

"Utopias are images of ideal societies. Some utopias are fantastical or naïve, but others are realistic images of a better world that can be achieved in the future. Dr. Martin Luther King, for example, 'dreamed' of a future America where all were treated equally, no matter what their race, creed, or color.....

....only one dimension emerged as a reliable motivator of people’s actions in the present. People supported changes in policies today (e.g., legalizing marijuana, acting on climate change) if they believed it would lead to a future society where people were more caring and moral....

There is a message in these findings for politicians and policy designers. The idea that people want policies to promote caring and morality in the community – even more so than cracking down on crime or promoting the economy – may come as a surprise to politicians and policy-makers. However, if they were to explicitly incorporated communal goals into their policies, such as strategies to address climate change that also encourage community-building, not only would they gain more support from citizens, but would move society towards the “utopia” that everyday people actually want.


Collective Futures: How Projections About the Future of Society Are Related to Actions and Attitudes Supporting Social Change

Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers [& Supplemental Material]


Submitted by lambert on

Here, alas in ScribD:

A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change 1,2. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniersthat climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally 3,4. However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions 5,6. An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers(N = 155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development. Study 2(N = 347) replicated this experimentally,showing that framing climate change action as increasing consideration for others, or improving economic/technological development, led to greater pro-environmental action intentions than a frame emphasizing a voiding the risks of climate change. To motivate deniers’ pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.

It may be that "strange bedfellows" happen with food because the social benefits of conviviality are so important.

Submitted by lambert on

Perhaps surprisingly, behavioral intentions and policy support were more strongly related to projections about people’s traits (specifically benevolence) more than the societal-level concerns that occupy most political and public attention, or projections about values that are often described as central to political action. Overall, people appear more motivated to act in support of creating a society with better people (i.e., warmer and more moral), than they are motivated to act in support of creating more favorable societal conditions for people to live in.

But to me, and for the policies I advocated, these are two sides of the same coin. So no policy changes are needed, only rhetorical ones?! A happy outcome for me if true....