Date of Award

Summer 7-12-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS Experimental Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Fanli Jia, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelly Goedert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Teague, Ph.D.

Keywords

Cooperation, Competition, Environmentalism, Priming

Abstract

Environmental issues are becoming increasingly prominent in today’s psychological research. Some researchers identify cooperation as a possible underlying facilitator of proenvironmental values, or proenvironmentalism. However, previous studies had not directly addressed how manipulating cooperation and competition could influence environmentalism. This study addressed this gap in previous literature by cooperatively, competitively, or neutrally priming participants and comparing their respective environmental attitudes, environmental actions, and environmental identities. 155 participants were recruited from introductory psychology classes at Seton Hall University. Participants were randomly placed into one of three conditions and primed by writing a short passage regarding a significant personal experience acting either cooperatively, competitively, or neutrally. Subsequently, they took a battery of surveys to measure environmentalism. It was predicted that participants primed cooperatively would score the most proenvironmentally on the measures, those primed competitively would score least proenvironmentally, and those primed neutrally would score between the cooperatively and competitively primed groups. It was found that there was no significant difference in environmentalism based on the priming groups, and no significant difference among groups in each environmental measure: environmental action, environmental attitude, environmental identity. However, those in the cooperative priming group scored marginally higher on environmental action than people in the competitive priming group and the results indicated a significant difference by priming groups on participatory environmental action.

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