Building societal resilience to climate change depends on increased adaptation. In this Review of scholarship on behavioural adaptation, we find that most empirical studies focus on the affective and cognitive drivers of behaviours with largely private benefits. Few examine behaviours with collective benefits or explore the moderating role of social factors on affective and cognitive cues. We point to cultural evolution and complex adaptive systems as frameworks that can improve our understanding of behaviours that lead to greater societal resilience in the long term. Integrating such research traditions with the socio-psychological perspectives that dominate the literature will ensure that future studies better distinguish the drivers of incremental coping from transformative adaptation.
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We thank P. Stern and E. Weber for their insights during an early review of the paper prior to submission.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Wilson, R.S., Herziger, A., Hamilton, M. et al. From incremental to transformative adaptation in individual responses to climate-exacerbated hazards. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0691-6