Identity, Intergroup Relationships, and Environmental Conflict
Hurst, Kristin Frances
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation explores strategies for addressing identity-related barriers to environmental problem-solving through the lens of two social-psychological theories: self-affirmation theory and moral foundations theory. Through one theoretical review, two online experiments and one in-lab experiment I explore, integrate and test theoretically grounded strategies for reducing the defensive information processing that can exacerbate intergroup divisions in multi-stakeholder settings. The specific objectives of this dissertation are to 1) integrate self-affirmation theory and moral foundations theory into the current knowledge about collaborative conservation (Chapter 2), 2) evaluate ways of tailoring environmental communication to better reach socially and politically diverse audiences (Chapter 3), and 3) experimentally test the effectiveness of an approach, based on self-affirmation theory, to facilitate productive discussion of complex, value-laden issues in group settings. Before presenting the results of this work, I provide a broad overview of the problem of group-based divisions in environmental conflict and the theoretical underpinnings of the dissertation (Chapter 1). Finally, I summarize the results and discuss the broader implications of the research (Chapter 5). The results of this research offer initial insights into how tools grounded in these theories can most effectively be applied to help alleviate identity-based barriers to environmental problem-solving.
- Doctoral Dissertations