People and Planet: Psychology and Climate Change

Module code: C8834
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

This module addresses our understanding of people’s action and inaction in the face of one dominant environmental issue: climate change. Topics covered include people’s motives for wanting to protect and promote the natural environment, why they might or might not engage in ‘pro-environmental’ behaviours, temporal discounting, moral distance, moral reasoning, affective processes, individual and collective efficacy, the problem of social dilemmas and the effectiveness of individual and structural interventions designed to promote pro-environmental attitudes, actions and outcomes. A major goal is to arrive at a critical and informed assessment of how much psychology has to offer to this broad - but pressing – social and environmental issue.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge and critical assessment of contemporary and past theory and research relevant to motivation, attitudes and actions in relation to the mitigation of climate change.
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically and incisively evaluate specific examples of contemporary theory and empirical research (and in so doing, pursue a sustained and coherent line of argumentation).
  • Demonstrate an ability to synthesize the contributions of diverse research frameworks and theoretical perspectives between academic disciplines and/or within Psychology.