Motivating children's cooperation to conserve forests.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Forests are essential common-pool resources. Understanding children's and adolescents' motivations for conservation is critical to improving conservation education. In 2 experiments, we investigated 1086 school-aged children and adolescents (6-16 years old) from China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States. testING participants in groups, we assessed their motivation for conservation based on collective-risk common-pool goods games in which they are threatened with losing their endowment unless the group donation exceeds a threshold needed to maintain the forest.eExtrinsic motivations, rather than intrinsic , tended to lead to successful cooperation to maintain a forest. Certainty of losing individual payoffs significantly boosted successful cooperative conservation efforts across cultures (success rates were 90.63 % and 74.19% in the 2 risk-extrinsic conditions and 43.75% in the control condition). In U.S. participants, 2 extrinsic incentives, priming discussions of the value of forests and delay of payoffs as punishment , also increased success of cooperative conservation (success rates were 97.22% and 76.92% in the 2 extrinsic-incentive conditions and 29.19% and 30.77% in the 2 control conditions). Conservation simulations, like those we used, may allow educators to encourage forest protection by leading groups to experience successful cooperation and the extrinsic incentives needed to motivate forest conservation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bowie, A; Zhou, W; Tan, J; White, P; Stoinski, T; Su, Y; Hare, B

Published Date

  • April 2022

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 35435284

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1523-1739

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0888-8892

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cobi.13922


  • eng