The author wish to thank Daryl Hepting, Devin Arbuthnott, Janice Thompson, Mary Vetter, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.
Taking the Long View: Environmental Sustainability and Delay of Gratification
Article first published online: 24 NOV 2009
© 2010 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 4–22, December 2010
How to Cite
Arbuthnott, K. D. (2010), Taking the Long View: Environmental Sustainability and Delay of Gratification. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10: 4–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2009.01196.x
- Issue published online: 24 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 24 NOV 2009
Changing human behavior to support environmental sustainability will often require delaying gratification of consumptive goals. This article reviews findings from the delay of gratification and temporal discounting literatures, examining the implications of these results for environmental behavior-change goals and programs. Evidence indicates that the ability to delay gratification is strongly influenced by the salience and difficulty of immediate versus delayed goals, so context management is vital to facilitate long-term environmental goals. The influence of belief on long-term goal attainment and goal framing also suggests a role for targeting individual beliefs and skills in education programs.