ActNature - Acting for the ecosystem

Modeling socio-cognitive levers for individual and collective actions for the conservation of biodiversity

The ActNature project is the 2021 laureate of the "Ecological transition and social justice" theme of the Emerging Research call for projects.

Despite an increase of the public awareness concerning environmental catastrophes resulting from human activity, there is still a significant gap between the attitudes and behaviours of individuals with respect to their environmental impact. In particular, the issue of biodiversity loss is still misunderstood and miscomprehended by the general public, which is a major barrier to their engagement in individual and/or collective action for its conservation. ActNature will model the socio-psychological factors leading individuals to engage (or not to engage) in actions for biodiversity conservation at an individual (e.g. reducing their use of natural resources) and collective (e.g. manifesting) level, adopting an intercultural perspective. Two aspects are innovative: first, ActNature goes beyond the individualistic perspective of behavioural change, as its main goal is to understand what are the common barriers and levers for individual and collective actions. Second, ActNature adopts an intercultural perspective which is fundamental when it comes to environmental issues and their effects for society. By carrying out a preliminary study modelling the socio-cognitive process of individual and collective actions for biodiversity conservation, ActNature will give the opportunity to develop a follow-up project (to be submitted to international calls) stimulating individual, social and cultural change in favour of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

Porteur du projet

Lucia Bosone

  • Institution: Laboratory of Applied Psychology and Ergonomics, University Gustave Eiffel, University of Paris
  • Scientific field: Decision-making, behavioural change, social cognition, pro-environmental actions

Scientific output

Bosone, L., Chaurand, N. & Chevrier, M. (undergoing revision). To change or not to change ? Perceived psychological barriers to individuals’ behavioural changes in favour of biodiversity conservation. Soumis à Ecosystems and people.

Bosone, L., & Martinez, F. (undergoing revision). Stories or numbers? The effectiveness of proximising climate change psychological distance through narrative persuasion to promote sustainable mobility. Soumis à Journal of Environmental Psychology.

Bosone, L. and Martinez, F. (2017). When, How and Why is Loss-Framing More Effective than Gain- and Non-Gain-Framing in the Promotion of Detection Behaviors? International Review of Social Psychology, 30(1), 184–192.

Bosone, L., Martinez, F. & Kalampalikis, N. (2015). When the Model Fits the Frame : the Impact of Regulatory Fit on Efficacy Appraisal and Persuasion in Health Communication. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(4), 526-539.

Bosone, L., Martinez, F. & Kalampalikis, N. (2015). The Effect of Message Framing and the Nature of the Targeted Illness on Individuals’ Intention to Participate in Clinical Trials. European Review of Applied Psychology, 65(4), 171-177

Team members

Jonas Rees

  • Institute of interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, Bielefeld University
  • Research Institute Social Cohesion, Bielefeld University

Franck Zenasni

  • Professor, Paris University
  • Director of UMR LaPEA - Laboratory of Applied Psychology and Ergonomics

Muriel Mambrini-Doudet

  • Research Director at the National Institute of Agriculture, Food and Environment (France)

Sebastian Bamberg

  • Professor of social psychology and quantitative research methods, Department of Social Sciences, University of Applied Science Bielefeld

Ecological Transition and Social Justice : Inventing New Operating Models

The current environmental crisis, to which has recently been added the global health crisis linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, poses an unprecedented challenge and calls for far-reaching changes in all political, economic and social practices, both at the individual and collective scales. Despite social and political awareness of the need and urgency for a transition, and despite research and technological advances on sustainability, the expected results are largely overdue. This is partly due to the fact that we do not have a sufficiently detailed and operational understanding of how transitions of this magnitude can be carried out, and to the absence of an overall project that can federate and commit citizens to act collectively, in a significant way, in favour of sustainability, for the thorough transformation of society and behaviour.

Because it implies the invention of new operating models to support and complement technical developments, the environmental transition seems only possible if it is fair and perceived as such. The relationship between environmental issues and the challenges of social justice, already posed by the Brundtland Commission 30 years ago, deserves to be put back at the center of discussions on sustainability and transition.