Martijn van Zomeren doesn’t hate hope. But he certainly thinks hope is overrated. Recent research found that when people were more hopeful about solving climate change, they were not more motivated to do anything about it. Hoping may thus make us feel better, while doom is coming to the world.
We live in turbulent times. Concerns about polarization and popular discontent are commonplace. So for many reasons, this seems a better time than ever to ask the question: what do we really know about such mass movements and societal sea-changes? Tom Postmes provides four key insights from his research over the last 7 years, which he conducted in close collaboration with various Dutch Ministries.
What can movements do to increase their number of supporters? Not all who belong to the same group share the same values (e.g., not all women share feminist beliefs). To appeal to a broader audience movements could align their values with the greater societal goals.