The spring semester 2021 will certainly take place online until Easter. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

701-1652-00L  Environmental Behaviour and Collective Decision Making

SemesterSpring Semester 2018
LecturersR. Hansmann
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractEnvironmental Behavior and Decision-making is considered from different perspectives (psychological approaches, evolutionary biology, game theory, and political sciences). The course is focusing ascending levels of human regulatory systems (individuals, groups, organizations) in contexts of forest & landscape management and other environmentally relevant areas.
ObjectiveEnvironmental decision-making can be analyzed from different disciplinary perspectives, and the level at which scientists analyze decision-making depends on the context and research goals. In the course, students get acquainted with theoretical approaches from psychology and political sciences. Theories are explained through examples of their application in different contexts of environmental behaviour, management and planning.

The course focuses environmental behaviour and decision-making on ascending levels of human regulatory systems:
1) Individual behaviour and decision-making
2) Decision-making in small groups
3) Decision-making in Institutions, and organizations
Psychological theories are frequently applied to individual behaviour and decision making and various social psychological theories focus on small group decision making. The course shall provide a framework for the students, which enables them to identify and apply theories that are helpful for answering certain research questions. Exercises and examples of application shall enable the students to get in depth knowledge of certain theories, which shall enable them to apply the models and theories themselves in own research activities.
ContentDecision-making is considered from different disciplinary perspectives (psychology, game theory, political sciences) and in different contexts. The course is structured by focusing decision making on ascending levels of human regulatory systems in contexts of focusing forest & landscape management and other environmentally relevant areas:
1. Individual-level models (psychological theories and modeling, communication and public campaigns, leisure activities, green spaces and health and well-being, waste disposal and recycling behavior)
2. Group level models (psychological theories and modeling, group think phenomena, group techniques, decision process analyses)
3. Organization-level models (institutions, political science, green space and urban planning)

- Psychological theory shall be taught in connection with economic/political approaches and with an orientation towards modeling of individual behavior and group decision-making. (Approaches covered include e.g. Theory of planned behavior, Norm activation Theory, Neutralization Theory, Rational Choice and Expected Utility models, Social Decision Schemes, DISCUSS model, Probabilistic model of Opinion Change including Distance).
- Solution oriented approaches towards influencing environmental behavior (environmental education, communication, campaigns) and improving group processes (Groupthink phenomena, Group Techniques) shall be covered by the course.
- Political and economic approaches on individuals, organizations and Management of Human-Environment Systems complement the psychological view (e.g. Collective Action Theory by E. Ostrom).
Lecture notesWill be provided in the lecture.
LiteratureWill be provided/announced during the lecture.