Have behavioral sciences delivered on their promise to influence environmental policy and conservation practice?

Paper by Maria Alejandra Velez and Lina Moros: “After four decades of refining our understanding of decision-making processes, a form of consensus has developed around the crucial role that behavioral science can play in changing non-cooperative decisions and promoting pro-environmental behaviors. However, has behavioral science delivered on its promise to influence environmental policy and conservation practice? We discuss key lessons coming from studies into the dual process theory of thinking and the presence of cognitive biases, social norms and intrinsic motivations. We then discuss the empirical findings by reviewing relevant research published over the past five years, and identify emerging lessons. Recent studies focus on providing feedback, manipulating framing, using green nudges, or activating social norms on urban contexts, mainly energy and water. Interventions are needed in the context of common pool resources in the global south. We end by discussing the great potential for scaling-up programs and interventions, but there are still challenges for research and practice….(More)”