A question of morals? The role of moral identity in support of the youth climate movement Fridays4Future

Abstract

In the past year, an unprecedented climate movement has risen among European youth, so-called “Fridays4Future” (F4F). Thousands of pupils skip school every Friday to protest for better climate politics. The public debate on the protests contains highly mixed reactions, including praise as well as condemnation. Recent theoretical accounts propose that people’s engagement in community service and actions towards a greater good could be related to their moral identity. Moral identity (MI) is defined as the extent to which being moral is important to the personal identity. The current preregistered study investigates the link between moral identity and participants’ support for F4F in an online survey (N=537). Results confirm the association between participants' moral identity and their support for F4F, with the internalization scale predicting passive forms of support and the symbolization scale predicting active forms of support. Additionally, risk perception was found to play an important role. Thus, this study confirms the role of moral identity in people’s pro-environmental engagement and offers new insights in the context of an important and timely issue.

Publication
PloS ONE
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Antonia Misch
Postdoctoral Associate