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A new study by Pusan National University suggests that “Counterfactual Thinking” encourages tourists to be more environmentally-conscious.

A new study by Pusan National University suggests that “Counterfactual Thinking” encourages tourists to be more environmentally-conscious.

Counterfactual thinking can induce changes in tourists' attitudes which encourage them to adopt environmentally sustainable measures while traveling.

BUSAN, South Korea, Jan. 31, 2022/PRNewswire/ -Sustainable tourism is essential for a sustainable future. Tourists, as the main consumers of the tourism industry, can significantly improve environmental protection by choosing to travel sustainably. Many tourists ignore the environmental harm that they can do to a destination’s environment, as it has been shown.

Insufficient research has explored the cognitive mechanisms that promote sustainable behavior in tourists. This leaves us with a gap in our understanding of how individual attitudes can be influenced to support the environment.

Recenty, an international team led by Associate Professor Dr. Hany KimPusan National University, South Korea, conducted a new study to analyze how a cognitive phenomenon known as counterfactual thought affects tourist attitudes toward environmental sustainability.

Counterfactual thinking simply means that you can think of alternative realities to existing facts. It is thinking about “what could have been” if someone did something differently in the past. It can lead to rational and realistic thoughts about the possibility of different actions. couldThey can lead to more desirable outcomes and push individuals to achieve their goals through behavioral change.

Their study, published online on 26ThJuly, 2021 Journal of Travel ResearchDr. Kim and her research team examined the effects of counterfactual thinking pertaining to environmental information on a group of potential tourists by measuring behavioral, and emotional changes.We drew inspiration from the reflection-evaluation model of thinking, behavior, and emotion, to design our study. We modified the experiment to include a control group to allow us to measure differences in absolute terms. This made our study even more original.,” Dr. Kim explains.

The two groups filled out questionnaires that asked for counterfactual thoughts about the effects of their current actions on the environment and possible steps to prevent further environmental degradation.

They found that most people want to act in a way that promotes sustainability. Counterfactual conditions that can be used to improve behavior have the potential to positively impact sustainable behavior. It was also interesting to note that potential tourists were more inclined to exhibit pro-environmental behavior if they received negative or sympathetic emotional reactions when they first processed environmental information.

But how does this study impact tourism?
Assistant Professor Dr. Semih YilmazThe article’s author feels that, in contrast to temporary subconscious tricks, counterfactual thinking can have a powerful influence on tourism communication and marketing settings. This can result in deliberate changes in visitors’ attitudes, and behaviors.

This study, which was first to examine the cognitive processes behind sustainable tourism behavior, opens the way to large-scale promotional counterfactual material that encourages viewers think about their environmental impact.

If there were counterfactual stories or prompts in visual and textual messages, tourists and the tourism sector would be more environmentally-friendly.Dr. Kim summarizes the long term implications of the study.

It is possible to believe that both individuals and organizations can use counterfactual thinking to create a more secure environment.

Refer to

Title of the original paper: Counterfactual Thinking within Sustainable Tourism Context

See Also
Environment Minister Guilbeault says Canada must reign in plastic waste exports

Journal: Journal of Travel Research


*Corresponding author’s email: [email protected]

About Pusan National University

Na-hyun Lee
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SOURCE Pusan National University

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