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Communication strategies for moral rebels: how to talk about change in order to inspire self-efficacy in others

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dc.contributor.author Brouwer, Claire
dc.contributor.author Bolderdijk, Jan Willem
dc.contributor.author Cornelissen, Gert
dc.contributor.author Kurz, Tim
dc.date.accessioned 2023-07-14T06:48:41Z
dc.date.available 2023-07-14T06:48:41Z
dc.date.issued 2022
dc.identifier.citation Brouwer C, Bolderdijk JW, Cornelissen G, Kurz T. Communication strategies for moral rebels: how to talk about change in order to inspire self-efficacy in others. WIREs Clim Change. 2022;13(5):e781. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.781
dc.identifier.issn 1757-7780
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/57574
dc.description.abstract Current carbon-intensive lifestyles are unsustainable and drastic social changes are required to combat climate change. To achieve such change, moral rebels (i.e., individuals who deviate from current behavioral norms based on ethical considerations) may be crucial catalyzers. However, the current literature holds that moral rebels may do more harm than good. By deviating from what most people do, based on a moral concern, moral rebels pose a threat to the moral self-view of their observers who share but fail to uphold that concern. Those observers may realize that their behavior does not live up to their moral values, and feel morally inadequate as a result. Work on “do-gooder derogation” demonstrates that rebel-induced threat can elicit defensive reactance among observers, resulting in the rejection of moral rebels and their behavioral choices. Such findings suggest that advocates for social change should avoid triggering moral threat by, for example, presenting nonmoral justifications for their choices. We challenge this view by arguing that moral threat may be a necessary ingredient to achieve social change precisely because it triggers ethical dissonance. Thus, instead of avoiding moral justifications, it may be more effective to harness that threat. Ethical dissonance may offer the fuel needed for observers to engage in self-improvement after being exposed to moral rebels, provided that observers feel capable of changing. Whether or not observers feel capable of changing, however, depends on how rebels communicate their moral choices to others—how they talk about change.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Wiley
dc.relation.ispartof WIREs Climate Change. 2022;13(5):e781.
dc.rights © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.title Communication strategies for moral rebels: how to talk about change in order to inspire self-efficacy in others
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcc.781
dc.subject.keyword ethical dissonance
dc.subject.keyword moral rebels
dc.subject.keyword perceived self-efficacy
dc.subject.keyword self-defense responses
dc.subject.keyword self-improvement
dc.subject.keyword social change
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

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