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Study: “Working together” won’t fix climate change

When it comes to climate change, we’re all in this dilemma together, and forcefully addressing it will require collaboration and cooperation. A stirring sentiment, but if you’re looking to spur white Americans to action, it’s actually counterproductive.

That’s the conclusion of a Stanford University research team, which found invoking the idea of interdependence undermined the motivation of European-American students to take a course in environmental sustainability.

The researchers, led by MarYam Hamedani of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, argue that in mainstream European-American culture, independence functions as a “foundational schema” — that is, an underlying design or blueprint that guides behavior.

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