Tuesday, November 14, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
The Role of Intergenerational Norms and Connections on the Sustainable Use of Common Pool Resources
Session ID
A6 - Lightning: Segmentation and Targeted Messaging
Social Science Insights
Griffin Colaizzi

Man-made climate change is one of the largest collective action problems facing the world (Dietz et al., 2003). However, the impacts of climate change, as well as the costs and benefits of its mitigation, are distributed across generations, rendering it a multigenerational social dilemma (Milinski et al., 2008). The present research employs Common Pool Resource (CPR) games to simulate multigenerational social dilemmas, with potential implications for policy makers. Through a series of experiments, we investigate the role of intergenerational connections and norms in shaping intergenerational beneficence. Specifically, we examine whether linkages across generations influence individual and group-level proclivities to conserve resources for future generations. Furthermore, we explore how social norms, as evident in the contributions and behaviors of prior generations, influence current generations' decisions to conserve resources for the future. Additionally, we investigate potential mechanisms underlying increased conservation of resources, such as legacy motivation and feelings of stewardship. In each study, participants are divided into groups of five and make individual choices about withdrawing resources from a common pool. A group threshold (withdrawal limit) is introduced in each experiment, which, if surpassed, results in fewer resources for the next group (i.e., next generation). We assess individual and group-level withdrawal rates, longevity of intergenerational resources (i.e., intergenerational cooperation or remaining under the threshold), and potential moderators at the individual level in each CPR game. Understanding the impact of intergenerational connections and norms on present-day resource conservation has critical implications for shaping individual and institutional conservation behavior. This research underscores how interventions that leverage connections and norms can effectively promote reductions in collective resource use and foster intergenerational cooperation, offering valuable insights for potential policy development in the context of addressing climate change.

Supporting Document 1