Climate-change related decisions have three characteristics that set them apart from other simpler choices. They (i) involve an intergenerational public good, (ii) often require collective action and coordination to be effective, and (iii) typically have elements of deep uncertainty. Organized around these three choice characteristics, I will report on and synthesizes three recent studies that examine how the nature of the physical and/or social environment influences the attentional processes and decision-modes by which such decisions are being made. Such variants in attention and decision processes influence how the decision is resolved, i.e., what option is selected, by way of qualitatively-different evaluations of choice alternatives and by evaluating choice options in different order. A better understanding of the effects of the multiple ways in which climate-related decisions can be presented, framed, or steered and how such decision context influences choice can provide entry points for the design of choice architectures that enable more foresightful decisions, i.e., choices that will not be regretted in the long run.
- Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
- High Meadows Environmental Institute
- Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
- Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy