Social norms and climate protection among young people
Social norms are shared ideas about which behaviour is appropriate in a specific situation. Previous research has identified social norms within the respective reference group as a promising starting point to strengthen environmentally friendly behaviour among adults. The current engagement of young people in climate protection offers an exciting use case to investigate the role of peer group effects and social norms among young people in the environmental field. In the project, we use a behavioural economics experiment to analyse how behaviour changes when youth observe other youth's (lack of) support for climate action. In the experiment, participating students have the opportunity to donate their participation fee to CO2 offset projects. Depending on the treatment, the students receive different information on how other students of the same age have decided, i.e. we manipulate the descriptive social norm. The experiment was conducted in cooperation with Florian Fiebelkorn from the University of Osnabrück at two schools across classes in grades 8, 9 and 10.
The contact person in our team is Dr Tobias Vorlaufer.