Psychology and the Environment

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Click on the following link to access position papers, tip sheets, green tips and InPsych articles:


Useful psychological references

Psychology’s role in understanding/responding to climate change

  • Gifford, R. (2007). Environmental psychology and sustainable development: expansion, maturation, and challenges. Journal of Social Issues, 63 (1), 199-212.
  • Gifford, R. (2008). Psychology’s essential role in alleviating the impacts of climate change. Canadian Psychology, 49, 1-8.
  • Kazdin, A.E. (2009). Psychological science’s contributions to a sustainable environment. Extending our reach to a grand challenge of society. American Psychologist, 64,339-356.
  • Oskamp, S. (2000) Psychological contributions to achieving an ecologically sustainable future for humanity. Journal of Social Issues, 56 (3), 373-390.
  • Stern, P. (2000). New environmental theories: Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56 (3), 407-424. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00175
  • Stokols, D., Misra, S., Runnerstrom, M.G. & Hipp, J.A. (2009). Psychology in an age of ecological crisis. From personal angst to collective action. American Psychologist, 64 (3), 181-193. doi: 10.1037/a0014717
  • Swim, J., Clayton, S., Doherty, T., Gifford, R., Howard, G., Reser, J., Stern, P. & Weber, E. (2009) Psychology and global climate change: Addressing a multi-faceted phenomenon and set of challenges. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Swim, J., Stern, P., Doherty, T., Clayton, S., Reser, J., Weber, E., Gifford, R. & Howard, G. (2011) Psychology’s contributions to understanding and addressing global climate change. American Psychologist, 66 (4), 241-250. doi:10.1037/a0023220

Pro-Environmental Behaviour Change

  • Commonwealth of Australia (2007). Changing behaviour: A public policy perspective.
  • Darnton, A. (2008) Reference report: An overview of behaviour change models and their uses. Retrieved from
  • Gifford, R. (2011) The dragons of inaction: Psychological barriers that limit climate change mitigation and adaptation. American Psychologist, 66 (4), 290-302. doi: 10.1037/a0023566
  • Jackson, T. (2005) Motivating sustainable consumption: a review of evidence on consumer behaviour and behaviour change. Retrieved from
  • McKenzie-Mohr, D. (2000). Quick reference: Community based social marketing. Environmental Psychologist. Retrieved from
  • WWF. (2008). Weathercocks & signposts: the environment movement at a crossroads. Retrieved from

Miscellaneous Environmental Psychology Resources

  • Barker, R.G. (1968) Ecological psychology: Concepts and methods for studying the environment of human behaviour. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Barker, R. (1976) On the nature of the environment. In H.M. Proshansky, W.H. Ittelson & L.G. Rivlin (Eds) Environmental psychology: People and their physical setting. Second Edition. (pp12-26). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 
  • Bechtel, R.B. & Churchman, A. (2002) (Eds) Handbook of environmental psychology. New York: Wiley.
  • Bell, P.A., Greene, T.C., Fisher, J.D. & Baum, A.S. (2001) Environmental Psychology. Fifth Edition. New York: Harcourt College.
  • Bonnes, M., Lee, T. & Bonaiuto, M. (2003) (Eds) Psychological theories for environmental issues. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
  • Bonnes, M. & Secchiaroli, G. (1995) Environmental psychology: A psycho-social introduction. London: Sage.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979) The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press.
  • Gardner, G.T. & Stern, P.C. (2002) Environmental problems and human behaviour. Second Edition. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.
  • Gibson, J.J. (1966) The senses considered as perceptual systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Gibson, J.J. (1979) The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Gifford, R. (2002) Environmental psychology: Principles and practice. Third edition. Victoria, Canada: Optimal Books.
  • Howard, G.S. (1997) Ecological psychology: Creating a more earth-friendly human nature. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Ittelson, W.H., Proshansky, H.M., Rivlin, L.G., Winkel, G.H. & Dempsey, D. (1974) An introduction to environmental psychology. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
  • Ittelson, W.H., Proshansky, H.M., Rivlin, L.G. (1970) (Eds) Environmental psychology: Man and his physical setting. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
  • Kaplan, R., Kaplan, S. & Ryan, R.L. (1998) With people in mind: Design and management of everyday nature. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
  • Kaplan, R. & Kaplan, S. (1989) The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ostrom, E., Dietz, T.H., Dolsak, N., Stern, P.C., Stonich, S. & Weber, E.U. (2002) (Eds) The drama of the commons. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
  • Reser, J.P. (2003) Thinking through ‘conservation psychology’: Prospects and challenges. Human Ecology Review, 10, 167-174.
  • Reser, J.P. (2001) Situating and representing psychology, environmental psychology, and conservation vis-a-vis the natural environment and other perspectives and disciplines. Population and Environmental Psychology Bulletin, 27, 4-7.
  • Reser, J.P. (1995) Whither environmental psychology? The transpersonal ecopsychology crossroads. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 235-257.
  • Roszak, T., Gomes, M.E. & Kanner, A.D. (1995) (Eds) Ecopsychology: Restoring the earth. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.
  • Saunders, C. (2006) What does ‘conservation psychology’ really mean? Population and Environmental Psychology Bulletin, 1.
  • Saunders, C.D. & Myers, O.E. (2003) Special issue: Conservation psychology. Human Ecology Review, 10, 1-193.
  • Saunders, C.D., Brook, A.T. & Myers, O.E. (2006) Using psychology to save biodiversity and human well-being. Conservation Biology, 20, 702-705.
  • Schmuck, P. & Schultz, W.P. (2002) (Eds) Psychology of sustainable development. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Stern, P.C., Young, O.R. & Druckman, D. (1998) (Eds) Global environmental change: Understanding the human dimensions. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • Stokols, D. & Altman, I (1987) (Eds) Handbook of environmental psychology, Vols 1 & 2. New York: Wiley.
  • Wicker, A.W. (2002) Ecological psychology: Historical contexts, current conception, prospective directions. In R.B. Bechtel & A. Churchman (Eds) Handbook of environmental psychology (pp 114-126)). New York: Wiley.
  • Wicker, A.W. (1979) An introduction to ecological psychology. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. 
  • Winter, D.D.N. & Koger, S. (2004) The psychology of environmental problems. Second edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Winter, D.D.N. (1996) Ecological psychology: Healing the split between planet and self. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.