Article

Cognitive Barriers to Environmental Action: Problems and Solutions

Lisa L. Shu and Max H. Bazerman

in The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584451
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199584451.003.0009

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Cognitive Barriers to Environmental Action: Problems and Solutions

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Business Ethics

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article investigates interventions at the micro level—the level of the individual—from both the citizen and policymaker perspectives. It concentrates on recognized cognitive barriers from the behavioral decision-making literature. It specifically highlights three cognitive barriers that impede sound individual decision-making that have particular relevance to behaviors impacting the environment. Then, it describes possible ways to overcome these cognitive barriers, first from the perspective of the individual citizen and then from the perspective of the policymaker. Over-discounting the future can contribute to a broad array of environmental problems. The three biases—positive illusions, egocentrism, and the tendency to discount the future—can have an interactive effect. They are innate and pervasive roadblocks that prevent individuals from adopting energy-efficient behaviors and technologies. It is noted that strategies are necessary to help policymakers overcome their loss aversion. Finally, the remaining questions on the research frontier are presented.

Keywords: cognitive barriers; behavioral decision-making; environmental problems; citizen; policymaker; positive illusions; egocentrism

Article.  6847 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Ethics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.