The 2 researchers based their submission on the dehumanisation theory. This theory states that humans respond defensively when their humanness is threatened. Dehumanising actions (comparing them to lifeless objects) lead to humanity-enforcing behaviour (i.e., pro-social actions such as helping others, or donating to charity).
Weihrauch and Hoang argue that humans can see nature as integral part of humanity. When nature is threatened/dehumanised, i.e. by replacing it with ‘lifeless’ garbage or cold metal structures, humans respond the same pro-social way and defend nature. The 2 researchers guide this defense intervention in a call to initiate tree planting in rural India.
Their research will be part of a larger intervention study of 20 intervention ideas.