Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXIII: Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence” on October 20-21, 2011.
Topic Three – Ethics and Action
Session 7: The Psychology of Action and Behavior Change
SPEAKER: Elke Weber
The path to a sustainable human future on Earth lies in finding a balance between conflicting goals – between striving and growth vs. stewardship and replenishment – both at the individual and collective level. Such balance requires attention to the here-and-now but also concern for others and planning for the future, two capacities that distinguish us from other species but that are not strongly developed. Dr. Weber’s research examines how people make decisions on actions small and large, their motives for these choices as well as the processes they may use. She will describe some tendencies in human decisions that stand in the way of socially and environmentally responsible behavior, showing how these systematic deviations from rational-economic decision-making are the result of finite cognitive and emotional capacity. She will also describe how a better appreciation of the wide range of goals and motives for action that people have and of the range of ways we make decisions (with our heads, our hearts, or by the book) can help us to frame small and large choices in ways that lead to behavior that better balances attention to the present vs. the future and to the self vs. others.
MODERATOR: Roshi Joan Halifax
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama