Although people seem to be concerned about climate change, few are pro-actively engaged in attempting to mitigate it. This discrepancy between environmental view and action has been recognized as a great challenge. This empirical study examined that disparity by investigating people's mindsets about the world. Such mindsets concern the degree to which people perceive their world as a changeable entity that can be shaped (growth mindset) rather than a static one that cannot be moulded or changed (fixed mindset). A survey conducted with American adults explored how these different mindsets could impact 1) attitudes towards climate change, 2) beliefs about its mitigation, 3) pro-environmental behavioural inclinations and 4) the self-reported frequency of pro-environmental actions. Holding a growth mindset about the world was related to more accepting attitudes towards climate change, more favourable beliefs about its possible mitigation, and greater pro-environmental behavioural inclinations. In addition, growth mindset was positively related to higher values in attitudes, beliefs, and behavioural inclinations people experienced after reading a persuasive and informative text on climate change. Finally, ten days later, participants with a stronger view that the world is changeable reported having engaged more frequently in pro-environmental actions throughout those ten days. Overall, holding a growth mindset might help to overcome some of the psychological barriers to environmental action.

Behaviour, Climate change, Global warming, Implicit belief, Mindset,
Journal of Environmental Psychology
Department of Psychology

Duchi, L. (Lorenzo), Lombardi, D. (Doug), Paas, G.W.C, & Loyens, S.M.M. (2020). How a growth mindset can change the climate: The power of implicit beliefs in influencing people's view and action. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 70. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2020.101461