Background and Objective: Currently, climate change represents an existential, physical, and psychological threat. Therefore, mitigation and adaptation actions and measures have become increasingly necessary to preserve individual and collective well-being. The psychological distance is one of the main psychological constructs that explains the most concrete or abstract perception of the objects and events surrounding people. The psychological distance is a multidimensional construct, and in accordance with the construal level theory (CLT), temporal, hypothetical, spatial, and social distance are considered the most critical dimensions. This systematic review aims to provide an update of the literature on the role of psychological distance in the commitment to engagement mitigation and adaptation attitudes toward climate change. Method: The review was carried out following PRISMA guidelines and a systematic search was performed on PubMed, Psycinfo, Web of Science, Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Results: Nineteen articles have been identified as being eligible for the final synthesis. Results showed, in general, that individuals have a higher propensity to perform pro-environmental and resilient behaviors against climate change when it is perceived as more proximal and concrete within the construct of psychological distance. However, not all studies show this result. Some studies showed that, despite people considering climate changes as real and tangible, they do not perform mitigation and adaptation behaviors. Other studies showed that people implement these behaviors despite perceiving climate changes as distal and abstract. Conclusions: The current literature shows the existence of a relation among psychological distance and pro-environmental and resilient behaviors applied to climate change. For a deeper understanding of the conflicting results that emerged, more studies are necessary to explore the possible presence of further psychological variables involved in the relation within psychological distance, mitigation, and adaptation in environmental contexts.

The psychological distance and climate change: A systematic review on the mitigation and adaptation behaviors

Maiella R.
Primo
;
La Malva P.
Secondo
;
Marchetti D.
;
Pomarico E.;Di Crosta A.;Palumbo R.;Di Domenico A.
Penultimo
;
Verrocchio M. C.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

Background and Objective: Currently, climate change represents an existential, physical, and psychological threat. Therefore, mitigation and adaptation actions and measures have become increasingly necessary to preserve individual and collective well-being. The psychological distance is one of the main psychological constructs that explains the most concrete or abstract perception of the objects and events surrounding people. The psychological distance is a multidimensional construct, and in accordance with the construal level theory (CLT), temporal, hypothetical, spatial, and social distance are considered the most critical dimensions. This systematic review aims to provide an update of the literature on the role of psychological distance in the commitment to engagement mitigation and adaptation attitudes toward climate change. Method: The review was carried out following PRISMA guidelines and a systematic search was performed on PubMed, Psycinfo, Web of Science, Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Results: Nineteen articles have been identified as being eligible for the final synthesis. Results showed, in general, that individuals have a higher propensity to perform pro-environmental and resilient behaviors against climate change when it is perceived as more proximal and concrete within the construct of psychological distance. However, not all studies show this result. Some studies showed that, despite people considering climate changes as real and tangible, they do not perform mitigation and adaptation behaviors. Other studies showed that people implement these behaviors despite perceiving climate changes as distal and abstract. Conclusions: The current literature shows the existence of a relation among psychological distance and pro-environmental and resilient behaviors applied to climate change. For a deeper understanding of the conflicting results that emerged, more studies are necessary to explore the possible presence of further psychological variables involved in the relation within psychological distance, mitigation, and adaptation in environmental contexts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/737965
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