Researcher, University of Kiel
Anna Lena is a human geographer and researcher at the Institute of Geography at the University of Kiel, Germany. Previously, she was a guest researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at the Stockholm University and at the Disaster Research Unit (DRU) at the Freie University Berlin. Her research lies at the interface of human geography and psychology, with a current focus on resilience, climate and marine justice and psychological barriers to climate adaptation based on the example of coastal fisheries. Anna Lena works primarily in the Norwegian Arctic and employs qualitative social research methods. One crucial aim of her research is to better understand cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes in complex human-environment relationships and how these processes shape human behaviour.
Key research Interests: Psychological barriers to climate adaptation and transformation, climate and marine justice, climate communication, inter- and transdisciplinarity
Social-ecological systems (SES) research underlines the tremendous impact of human behaviour on planet Earth. To enable a sustainable course of humanity, the integration of human cognition in SES research is crucial for better understanding the processes leading to and involved in human behaviour. However, this integration is proving a challenge, not only in terms of diverging ontological and epistemological perspectives, but also - and this has received little attention in SES research - in terms of (lacking) precision of communication regarding cognition. SES scholars often implicitly disagree on the meaning of this broad concept due to unexpressed underlying assumptions and perspectives. This paper raises awareness for the need to communicate clearly andmindfully about human cognition by exemplifying common communication pitfalls and ways of preventing them. We focus on the concept of cognition itself and provide aspects of cognition that need to be communicated explicitly, i.e. different objects of investigation and levels of description. Lastly, we illustrate means of overcoming communication pitfalls by the example of rationality.