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Open AccessArticle

Have Sustainable Development Goal Depictions Functioned as a Nudge for the Younger Generation before and during the COVID-19 Outbreak?

College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University, Osaka 567-8570, Japan
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Academic Editors: Marc A. Rosen and Emanuele Cannizzaro
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041672
Received: 7 January 2021 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 4 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corresponding logos have become ubiquitous in Japan. While not legally binding, they allow us to choose how to contribute or not to the SDGs. Considering that SDGs share characteristics with nudges, we investigated whether SDGs, with their term and logos, have functioned as a nudge before and during the COVID-19 outbreak. Using Japan as a case study, we analyzed newspaper articles to explore how the term SDGs has spread before and during the outbreak. We also conducted a questionnaire among college students (n = 421) to explore how exposure to the term or its logos has steered the behavior of the younger generation toward SDGs. Our analysis revealed that the use of the term in newspaper articles has rapidly increased and spread across newspaper sections, whereas the COVID-19 outbreak has slowed its spread. The results showed that 68.9% of the respondents were familiar with the term or logos. Of these, 25.4% had changed their behavior toward SDGs. Surprisingly, COVID-19 has had a rather positive influence as a catalyst in that more respondents have overall become more proactive or maintained previous behaviors (28.3%). This indicates that COVID-19 may be an opportunity to make a shift toward a more sustainable society. View Full-Text
Keywords: SDGs; nudge; content analysis; COVID-19; sustainable development goals; college students SDGs; nudge; content analysis; COVID-19; sustainable development goals; college students
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MDPI and ACS Style

Uehara, T.; Sakurai, R. Have Sustainable Development Goal Depictions Functioned as a Nudge for the Younger Generation before and during the COVID-19 Outbreak? Sustainability 2021, 13, 1672. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041672

AMA Style

Uehara T, Sakurai R. Have Sustainable Development Goal Depictions Functioned as a Nudge for the Younger Generation before and during the COVID-19 Outbreak? Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):1672. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041672

Chicago/Turabian Style

Uehara, Takuro; Sakurai, Ryo. 2021. "Have Sustainable Development Goal Depictions Functioned as a Nudge for the Younger Generation before and during the COVID-19 Outbreak?" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 1672. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041672

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