A short report based on a survey of eight internationally leading psychologists explaining why the “Values Modes” approach to environmental campaigning is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of social psychology research. At the time this survey was conducted, the “Values Modes” approach was widely discussed in campaigning networks. Proponents of “Values Modes” draw, like Common Cause, on the work of Shalom Schwartz, but they make very different recommendations for communicators and campaigners. The “Values Modes” approach recommends, for example, that campaigners should attempt to motivate pro-environmental behaviour among some groups by connecting such behaviour to aims like money, image, and status. Our survey shows that these leading psychologists’ opinions stand in direct contrast to claims made by the proponents of “Value Modes”, and instead support the Common Cause approach which advocates championing intrinsic values in order to build greater public demand for change.
Exploring some of the challenges posed by the pressures of short-term fundraising
More information on the two values surveys that Common Cause draws on in its work
Further information on the texts used in the study with WWF and Scope