At first glance, you might think that climate and environmental psychologists work to stop global warming, protect endangered species and conserve clean water supplies. You would be right, but just partially.
While these psychologists are concerned with environmental protection and conservation, climate and environmental psychologists focus their research and work on better understanding how human behavior affects our world. They study human responses to natural and technological hazards and examine the influence of different environments, such as offices, homes and urban areas, on loneliness and stress, for example.
Have you ever considered how your mood changes when the sun is shining? Have you ever thought about why some people are committed recyclers while others toss items into the trash without a thought? Or even how colors used to decorate an office space can improve productivity?
Climate and environmental psychologist study all of these questions, and much more.
As people become more environmentally conscious, climate and environmental psychologists are playing a larger role in the workforce. Many work for nonprofits or the government, often serving as research psychologists or clinicians with environmental expertise.
As such, they support initiatives that focus on urban and city planning, environmental design and environmental health, to name a few.
Specifically, climate and environmental psychologists:
- Conduct research on messages that motivate people to change their behavior.
- Spread the word about environmental solutions.
- Uncover why people may not adopt positive behaviors.
- Encourage people to rethink their positions in the natural world.
- Help clients to live more sustainable lives.
Climate and environmental psychologists keep our planet healthy. Their research explores human behavior so they can figure out what motivates people to take actions that will protect the planet.
Resources to help you pursue a career in psychology
A degree in psychology can lead to a fulfilling career that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Find out what it takes to become a climate and environmental psychologist
Climate and environmental psychologists seek to improve the interactions of people with the world around us. They work in areas as varied as human responses to natural and technological hazards, conservation, environmental perception and cognition to loneliness, stress and design.