Beyond Traditional Roles: The Contribution of Psychology to Environmental Sustainability

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Principal Investigator: 
Susan Clayton, The College of Wooster
Patrick Devine-Wright, University of Exeter

The problems of environmental protection are wicked problems, without clear solutions and with complex interdependencies between human and nonhuman species and the physical/material environment. There is increasing need, as well as increasing interest, in joining the knowledge and methods of psychologists to more traditional approaches by ecologists, conservation biologists, and environmental policymakers. There have been many multidisciplinary collaborations. Yet, the results of these collaborations are still fragmented, and overall awareness of the potential contributions of psychology is still limited. To progress beyond the current state of affairs, Drs. Susan Clayton and Patrick Devine-Wright will convene a workshop for psychologists and those working in similar disciplines who address issues linked to some of the Rio+20 outcomes. Of particular interest to the team will be to understand how is psychology relevant to this issue, and to examine what we know that might be useful in addressing this problem. In addition, the team will determine what the important gaps in our knowledge are and which research gaps might benefit from interdisciplinary work between psychologists and natural scientists.

Mirilia Bonnes, Sapienza University
Amanda Carrico, Vanderbilt University
Linda Steg, University of Groningen
Paul Stern, National Academy of Sciences
Janet Swim, Pennsylvania State University
Jim Taylor, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa
Carol Werner, University of Utah
Lorraine Whitmarsh, University of Cardiff
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