Breaking Barriers: The Study of Human Perception as it Relates to Intergenerational Reciprocity
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWe are born into a set of circumstances. Society and our perception of it influence the way we regard others. We are typically inclined to give what we receive, and the state of existing public policy during our lifetime plays into our regard for future generations. Democracy is seen as the only facet that can promote intergenerational reciprocity and give future generations a voice. Unfortunately, however, it also has its disadvantages as it depends on community involvement and is subject to raw, uneducated opinion. Through this study, we identified connections between various demographics like age, location and political party, and the willingness of the participants to improve the state of public policy currently and over the course of numerous generations. Twenty four participants were surveyed across the United States and questioned about their willingness to increase taxes by 2% in order to fund programs for improving unemployment, climate change, and healthcare. We found that, overall, those who identified as members of the Democratic party were more willing to increase taxes, and there was greatest receptivity for improving climate change both currently and for future generations. Overall, participants’ willingness to improve public policy within a group decreased as the generational gap increased. Finally, there was an increased willingness to increase taxes for only the wealthy (dollars earned over 500,000) versus all tax brackets in order to fund the same public policy programs as solutions. To better gauge the relationship of regard for future generations with demographics and human perception, further studies need to remove the element of increased taxes.
DescriptionSustainable Built Environments Senior Capstone Project