Here you can find info on the active lines of research I am currently working on:

Exploring Evaluations and Reactions of Individuals towards Environmental Moral Models: Implications for Pro-Environmental Behavior Adoption in Groups

In the scope of my PhD project I conduct research to analyze the evaluations and reactions of individuals when faced with moral deviants, i.e. individuals whose behavior deviates from the behaviors considered moral by a group. The specific focus of the research is on the reactions of individuals to moral exemplars (individuals who implement highly positive moral behaviors) and on the related implications for the adoption of pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors from an intra- and intergroup perspective.

The project aims to answer the following research questions:

  1. To what extent perceiving pro-environmental norms as moral norms as well as norms of one’s group increases the likelihood that people will engage in pro-environmental behaviors.
  2. To what extent does exposure to moral exemplar elicit positive emotional reactions in observers and whether such emotions result in greater intentions to engage in pro-environmental behaviors.
  3. To understand which moral exemplars (e.g. ingroup members) are most effective in predicting greater intentions to engage in pro-environmental behaviors and what the differences are between these individuals and other moral deviants.
  4. To investigate whether the use of moral frames in the implementation of pro-environmental behaviors (e.g. through the involvement of moral exemplars in communication campaigns) is more effective than communication campaigns based on technical/economic arguments associated with such behaviors (e.g. reduction of pollutants, economic benefits, etc.).

Co-authors: Marika Rullo (University of Siena); Stefano Pagliaro (University of Chieti-Pescara); Manuel Teresi (University of Chieti-Pescara).

From Moral Deviant to Moral Influencer: Moral Convictions as a Tool for Social Change

In recent times, individuals had to deal with many topics (e.g., Climate Change, Covid19, Vaccines, War, etc.) that required continuous adaptation of their opinions, as well as to take position on the interpretation of events. Some studies showed that individuals tend to polarize their attitudes toward sensitive social issues, and to approach debates in terms of what is morally right or wrong (Skitka, 2010). The present research aims at providing a deeper understanding on processes such as moral convictions and moral deviance; at exploring how the counter-tending expression of moral deviants can indirectly influence the opinions of other ingroup members and promote social change; finally, at exploring how group members’ prototypicality impacts on other ingroup members’ evaluations, behavioral intentions, and attitudes.

Co-author: Manuel Teresi (University of Chieti-Pescara).

“Now that I know you, I may actually join you”: Effects of exposure to radical movements’ values, aims and motivations on intention to engage in climate collective action.

Climate activism has risen in recent years. Some movements (e.g., Extinction Rebellion) have adopted radical strategies (e.g., civil disobedience) to raise awareness and demand policy action. However, these actions often face criticism due to perceived threats and moral violations. Our research aims to explore how understanding the motivations of the activists can enhance people’s identification with the movement and its moral goals, and increase the perception of climate change injustice, fostering engagement in collective actions related to the cause. Using the Social Identity Model of Collective Action (SIMCA), we will investigate whether exposure to activists’ motivations (i.e., movement’s manifesto) before exposure to their actions can influence people’s evaluations of climate change-related collective actions and encourage activism. We will conduct an online multi-national study to gain insights into environmental collective actions. The project is developed within the Junior Researcher Programme.

Co-authors: Dominik Meindl (University of Vienna); Nicolas Brandao (University of Zurich); Patryk Kukla (University SWPS); Sara Hoyer (University of Oxford); Yasmin Silane (University of Padua)