APA Report on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change
The American Psychological Association's (APA) task force studying the interface between psychology and global climate change recently released a report of their findings. The report outlines the important role that psychology has in understanding, limiting, and coping with climate change.
In a press release, task force chair Janet Swim, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University stated, "What is unique about current global climate change is the role of human behavior. We must look at the reasons people are not acting in order to understand how to get people to act." The report goes in depth exploring the connection between psychology and global climate change and makes numerous policy recommendations for psychological science.
The report works to understand psychology's contribution to understanding climate change through answering the 6 questions below:
- How do people understand the risks imposed by climate change?
- What are the human behavioral contributions to climate change and the psychological and contextual drivers of these contributions?
- What are the psychological impacts of climate change?
- How do people adapt to and cope with the perceived threat and unfolding impacts of climate change?
- Which psychological barriers limit climate change actions?
- How can psychologists assist in limiting climate change?
I hope those working to overcome some of the behavioral barriers identified in the report on your own campus will find the report and suggestions helpful. If you have feedback or comments please post below!
Members of the APA Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change include:
Chair: Janet K. Swim, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
Susan Clayton, PhD, College of Wooster
Thomas Doherty, PsyD, Lewis and Clark College
Robert Gifford, PhD, University of Victoria
George Howard, PhD, University of Notre Dame
Joseph Reser, PhD, Griffith University
Paul Stern, PhD, National Academies of Science
Elke Weber, PhD, Columbia University
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