Ganga Shreedhar is an Assistant Professor in Behavioural Science at the LSE, Affiliate of the Department of Geography and Environment and Associate at the GRI.

She will be presenting her paper ‘Stories about how we act on and understand mass extinction


It is widely recognised that storytelling is an important means to raise awareness about climate change and mass extinction, and change people’s values and behaviour. Compared to ‘factual’ or ‘statistical information’, stories are seen as more emotionally compelling, relatable, and easier to understand, thus more persuasive. However, there is scarce evidence about when stories are actually effective. Through the lens of animal stories, I examine what type of stories more effective at changing attitudes and behaviours, and when they can backfire. I focus on asking what happens when stories are ambiguous, when they compete, and whose stories we listen to. In an effort to listen (rather than test and evaluate), I also present preliminary evidence that aims to map people’s mental models of mass extinction through storytelling. By understanding mental models of extinction, we can help better inform people’s decisions by spotting misperceptions and accordingly design behavioural interventions to improve people’s understanding and change behaviour. 

Please email  to request the Zoom joining details for this workshop by by 5pm on Tuesday, 22nd March 2022.

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