Earth does not have environmental problems—rather, psychologists argue that the environmental crises we currently face are the result of unsustainable human behavior. This paper reviews psychology research about why our responses to environmental crises have been inadequate. Why might some people believe climate change is real while others do not? The article discusses why understanding ecology is critical and notes specific types of behaviors that can inspire the change that is needed to create a livable planet. The review ends with a description of conservation psychology topics that need further research.
NOTE: This article is a review paper (secondary literature), meaning that it summarizes the work from many research articles (primary literature) to draw overarching conclusions and point out where more research is needed. As such, the Learning Lenses for the paper are restricted to Glossary, Previous Work, News and Policy Links, Results and Conclusions, and References and Notes. The team who wrote this article and its annotations has also authored a book, and many of the annotations are derived from the publication. Scott, B.A., Amel, E.L. Koger, S.M., & Manning, C.M. (2016). Psychology for Sustainability (4th Edition). Routledge: NY, NY.