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Involuntary Simplicity: Changing Dysfunctional Habits of Consumption

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Why is it so difficult for 'voluntary simplicity' to become truly voluntary? It is suggested that an important distinction has to be made between beliefs which are 'espoused' and those which are 'embodied'. Certain crucial systems of embodied beliefs constitute traps, in the sense that they set, invisibly, a person's motivational agenda, and bias perception against their own detection. This analysis makes it clear why certain popular forms of campaigning and education are ineffective; and suggests that some methodologies of self-transformation associated with spiritual traditions such as Buddhism may have much to offer the environmental movement.
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Keywords: beliefs; motivation; perception; psychology; voluntary simplicity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-02-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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