Psychology of Environmental Issues|
Fall 2018 not offered
Environmental issues, such as climate change and the overconsumption of resources, are some of the most pressing problems facing our world. Many environmental psychologists specifically investigate how people think about and respond to these global challenges. In this course, we will discuss how psychological mechanisms help explain the roots of various environmental problems and can also be used when designing interventions to address these issues. We will focus on both individual processes (e.g., cognitive processes, motivation, behavior change, connection with nature) and social processes (e.g., cultural worldviews, group relationships, media messages, social movements). Broader questions addressed in this class include: Why are people generally unconcerned about climate change? Why is material consumption highly valued in American society? What motivates individuals to become involved in environmental social movements? Throughout the semester, students will practice applying the concepts learned in class to a specific environmental issue of their choice.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
Quinn, D. (1992). ISHMAEL. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN-10: 0553375407, ISBN-13: 978-0553375404
McKenzie-Mohr, D. (2013). FOSTERING SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR: AN INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNITY-BASED SOCIAL MARKETING, Third Edition. Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers. ISBN-10: 0865716420, ISBN-13: 978-0865716421
Articles & Chapters:
Cialdini, R. B. (2003). Crafting normative messages to protect the environment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 105-109. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.01242
Haidt, J. (2006). The divided self. The happiness hypothesis (pp. 1-20). Cambridge, MA: Basic Books.
Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243-1248.
Feinberg, M., & Willer, R. (2011). Apocalypse soon? Dire messages reduce belief in global warming by contradicting just-world beliefs. Psychological Science, 22, 34-38. doi: 10.1177/0956797610391911
Höijer, B. (2010). Emotional anchoring and objectification in the media reporting on climate change. Public Understanding of Science, 19, 717-731. doi: 10.1177/0963662509348863
Kahan, D. M., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L. L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 2, 732-735. doi: 10.1038/nclimate1547
Koger, S. M., & Winter, D. D. (2010). What on Earth are we doing? The psychology of environmental problems: Psychology for sustainability (pp. 1-25). New York: Taylor & Francis.
Macy, J. (1995). Working through environmental despair. In T. Roszak, M. E. Gomes, & A, D. Canner (Eds.), Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, healing the mind (pp. 240-262). New York: Crown Publishers.
Merritt, A. C., Effron, D. A., & Monin, B. (2010). Moral self¿licensing: When being good frees us to be bad. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 344-357. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00263.x
Nisbet, E. K., & Zelenski, J. M. (2011). Underestimating nearby nature: Affective forecasting errors obscure the happy path to sustainability. Psychological Science, 22, 1101-1106. doi:10.1177/0956797611418527
Stern, P. C., Dietz, T., Abel, T., Guagnano, G. A., & Kalof, L. (1999). A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: The case of environmentalism. Human Ecology Review, 6, 81-98.
Thøgersen, J. (2014). Unsustainable consumption: Basic causes and implications for policy. European Psychologist, 19, 84-95. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000176
Thøgersen, J., & Noblet, C. (2012). Does green consumerism increase the acceptance of wind power? Energy Policy, 51, 854-862. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031
Uzzell, D. L. (2000). The psycho-spatial dimension of global environmental problems. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 307-318. doi: 10.1006/jevp.2000.0175
Van der Werff, E., Steg, L., & Keizer, K. (2013). I am what I am, by looking past the present: The influence of biospheric values and past behavior on environmental self-identity. Environment and Behavior, 46, 626-657. doi: 10.1177/0013916512475209
|Examination and Assignments: |
Written assignments, in-class presentations, final paper/project.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Priority will be given to psychology majors with background in social, cognitive, or cultural psychology, and/or prior coursework in psychologically oriented research methods. Consideration will also be given to students with demonstrated interest in diverse perspectives on environmental issues.