Motivating farmers: insights from social psychology
Garforth, C. J. (2010) Motivating farmers: insights from social psychology. In: NMC Annual Meeting, 31 Jan - 03 Feb 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
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We are social beings. What we do and don’t do, what we think, the decisions we take are all influenced by those around us. Sometimes we are conscious of those influences, often we are not. Those who influence us are not just our close family and friends, our own social and professional networks, but the wider societies and cultures to which we belong. The goals we espouse, the values we hold, the image we have of ourselves are all molded to a large extent by our interactions and relationships with other people. The social sciences offer a range of concepts and tools for exploring these influences. In this paper, I introduce some of these and illustrate them with recent research I and my colleagues have been doing at the University of Reading among livestock farmers in the UK, with a view to providing insights that can then be used to plan and implement more effective interventions.