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Motivational Factors in Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma: A Post-Interview Analysis

Mostafa Shahen, Wada Masaya, Koji Kotani and Tatsuyoshi Saijo ()
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Wada Masaya: Ginken LTD, Tokyo 135-0063, Japan

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 17, 1-16

Abstract: An intergenerational sustainability dilemma (ISD) is a situation of whether or not a person sacrifices herself for future sustainability. However, little is known about what people consider while making a decision under ISD. This paper analyzes motivational factors for people to decide under ISD, hypothesizing that the factors can be different with or without perspective-taking of future generations. One-person basic ISD game (ISDG) along with post-interviews are instituted where a lineup of individuals is organized as a generational sequence. Each individual chooses an unsustainable (or sustainable) option with (without) irreversibly costing future generations in 36 situations. A future ahead and back (FAB) mechanism is applied as a treatment for perspective-taking of future generations where each individual is asked to take the next generation’s position and to make a request about the choice that he/she wants the current generation to choose, and next, he/she makes the actual decision from the original position. By analyzing the post-interview contents with text-mining techniques, the paper finds that individuals mostly consider how previous generations had behaved in basic ISDG as the main motivational factor. However, individuals in FAB treatment are induced to put more weight on the possible consequences of their decisions for future generations as motivational factors. The findings suggest that perspective-taking of future generations through FAB mechanism enables people to change not only their behaviors but also motivational factors, enhancing ISD.

Keywords: content analysis; future ahead and back mechanism; future design; intergenerational sustainability dilemma; text-mining (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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