Cultural Cognition

The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities.

How do beliefs change? Memes were first introduced by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The Selfish Gene'. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures". Like gravity, memes are so fundamental we forget them consciously while balancing them silently.

Virus like, memes have the potential to be passed on from one mind to another. Climate Change is a concept we all see through our own blinders. Through mine it's obvious that the climate is changing due to human consumption and materialism. How can the millions who share my perspective get our meme, let's call it want less, established in the mainstream worldview?

Business as usual means 'more mall-less small', views must change. The green gang, the scientists, the team from Empirical Logic, needs a hook. Cool could work. If somehow, through the power of peer pressure, it became cool to have less, to comsume the least, then the want less meme and the polar bear might have a chance.