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

Autoři: Hidenori Komatsu aff001;  Hiromi Kubota aff002;  Nobuyuki Tanaka aff002;  Hirotada Ohashi aff003
Působiště autorů: Energy Innovation Center, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Kanagawa, Japan aff001;  Environmental Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Abiko-shi, Chiba, Japan aff002;  School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227024


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.

Klíčová slova:

Air pollution – Altruistic behavior – Decision making – Evolutionary adaptation – Human evolution – Questionnaires – Simulation and modeling – Vision


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