No SDES-2020-8
Title Visual Narrative for Taking Future Generation’s Perspective
Author Yoshinori Nakagawa and Tatsuyoshi Saijo
Abstract Intergenerational problems occur when the current generation chooses actions that benefit them without fully considering future generations’ needs. The present study posits that the public has a general tendency to serve as the proxy of future generations willingly, and aims to develop a visual narrative intervention measure to accelerate this willingness. The narrative was created on the basis of the interview survey with a participant in a Future Design workshop (Hara et al., 2019) as an “imaginary future generation”. A lab-experiment was designed using this visual narrative as an intervention tool, to assess the impact of this intervention on the research subjects’ political preferences and their concerns for future generations. A total of 186 subjects were collected and requested to choose their most preferred option among a list of four options prevalent in the life of the present generation, both before and after the exposure to this intervention. It was found that the exposure to this visual narrative significantly changed the subjects’ preferences as the proxies of the future generation. After this intervention, the subjects wished the present generation had chosen sustainable options more different from the status quo so that the future generations’ do not regret from inaction (i.e., the regret of not having done certain actions at present), indicating that the intervention was effective in acquiring the perspective of the future generation. The present study demonstrates that individuals of the present generation can be motivated to take the perspective of the future generation.
Revised version published in Sustainability Science