Motivating Climate Action
To make progress on motivating climate action, we need to stop assuming that individual, household, corporate, and governmental decisions are exclusively driven by material or “economically rational” considerations. Considering the far broader range of goals and processing modes of human decision makers (homo sapiens, in contrast to homo economicus) allows us to understand the puzzling absence of mitigative action on climate change and to design better ways of communicating crucial consumption and investment decisions.
Elke Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and founder and director of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. Her research models decision-making under uncertainty and time delay in financial and environmental contexts from a psychological and neuroscience perspective. Her expertise in the behavioral decision sciences has been sought out by advisory committees of the National Academy of Sciences on Human Dimensions in Global Change, an American Psychological Association Task Force that issued a report on the Interface between Psychology and Global Climate Change, and Working Group III for the 5th and 6th Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She is past president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and the Society for Mathematical Psychology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, and the Society for Experimental Psychology. She received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis. She is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.