Journal article

Greens or space invaders: Prominent utopian themes and effects on social change motivation

Julian W Fernando, Lean V O'Brien, Nicholas J Burden, Madeline Judge, Yoshihisa Kashima

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2019

Abstract

One way in which individuals can participate in action to change the society they live in is through the pursuit of an ideal society or “utopia”; however, the content of that utopia is a likely determinant of its motivational impact. Here we examined two predominant prototypes of utopia derived from previous research and theory—the Green and Sci-Fi utopias. When participants were primed with either of these utopias, the Green utopia was perceived to entail a range of other positive characteristics (e.g., warmth, positive emotions) and—provided it was positively evaluated—tended to elicit both motivation and behaviour for social change. In contrast, the Sci-Fi utopia was associated with low m..

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