Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series 2024

The Manylabs Climate Collaboration: Testing the perceived and actual efficacy of 11 behavioral interventions to promote climate action in 63 countries

Dr. Kim Doell, University of Vienna, Austria


What is the best way to promote climate change mitigation? While many interventions have been tested, comparing their efficacy is problematic because they are generally tested on specific populations, in specific contexts, and on specific outcome variables (e.g., behavioural intentions). Here, we conducted an international mega-study across 63 countries (N= 59,440), including over 250 collaborators, that compared 11 different interventions (against a control), on the same four sustainability-related outcome variables (i.e., climate change belief, policy support, willingness to share information on social media, and an effortful tree-planting task). Here, no intervention worked across all outcome variables, and intervention efficacy depended on prior climate change beliefs. This suggests that interventions need to be tailored according to their outcome, and individual-level characteristics of the populations being sampled. Forecasts showed that academics (e.g., behavioural scientists; N=242) were largely better than members of the general public (N=574) when predicting how interventions would impact belief and policy support, but not the effortful behaviour. Together, these results highlight the need for more well-powered research, in order to develop effective interventions that target many facets of climate change mitigation, including real behaviour.

Kim is an incoming group leader at the University of Konstanz, and a senior scientist at the University of Vienna. Her research broadly combines elements of neuroscience, environmental/social psychology, Big Team Science, and the behavioural sciences in order to investigate various societal issues, particularly fighting climate change. This line of research is highly interdisciplinary, combining techniques and methodologies from many broad disciplines, and includes many collaborations from all over the world.

Datum: 2024-06-17