Designing information provision to serve as a reminder of altruistic benefits: A case study of the risks of air pollution caused by industrialization

Hidenori Komatsu, Hiromi Kubota, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Hirotada Ohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A well-known phenomenon is that humans perceive risks to threaten future generations as more dangerous in many cases. However, this tendency could be changed depending on certain conditions and could potentially be explained by the evolution of altruism. Our multi-agent simulation model, which was constructed to identify attributes contributing to subjective assessment of a risk source based on kin selection theory, showed that support from relatives can affect the agents’ subjective risk assessment. We utilize this insight, which has never been explored in the context of nudge, to show that real-world messages reminding respondents that they are supported by their relatives can moderate the perception of a risk source as extremely dangerous. A randomized control trial based on an internet questionnaire survey was conducted to identify the intervention effect of such messages, using air pollution caused by industrialization as the risk source for the case study. Our analysis suggests that messages moderate extreme attitudes. Presentation of additional visual information can boost the sense of familial support and increase the effect of a message compared with a message comprising only textual information. The attributes and personality traits of the respondents who are responsive to the intervention message are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0227024
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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