Inducing perspective-taking for prosocial behaviour in natural resource management
|Ortiz-Riomalo, Juan Felipe
|ALTRUISM; Business; Business & Economics; COMMONS; Economics; ECOSYSTEM SERVICES; EMPATHY; Environmental policy; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Environmental Studies; Framed field experiment; Natural resource management; Other-regarding preferences; Perspective-taking; Prosocial behaviour; Social dilemmas
|ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
|JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT
Natural resource management often involves social dilemmas which other-regarding preferences and pro-social behaviour can help overcome. Interventions that induce resource users to consider a perspective broader than their own may help promote pro-social behaviour. Such interventions are often applied in participatory resource management approaches. To the best of our knowledge, nonetheless, no previous study has isolated and assessed the effect of inducing perspectivetaking on natural resource users' prosocial behaviour. In this study, we do so in the context of watershed management. We conducted a lab-in-the-field experiment with downstream farmers in a Peruvian watershed. In the experiment, participants were induced to imagine the perspective of upstream farmers before deciding on a donation that can help the latter improve their well-being without compromising the water supply downstream. We find that inducing perspective-taking increases unilateral prosocial behaviour. This effect cannot fully be explained by the additional information on the social and ecological characteristics of the watershed received during the perspective-taking experience. Rather the effect of the perspective-taking intervention is likely to work by inducing other-regarding preferences. Our results contribute to the study of pro-social behaviour in natural resource management and the ways in which it could be induced by interventions targeting other-regarding preferences.
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checked on Feb 27, 2024