Human behaviour is integral not only to causing global climate change but also to responding and adapting to it. Here, we argue that psychological research should inform efforts to address climate change, to avoid misunderstandings about human behaviour and motivations that can lead to ineffective or misguided policies. We review three key research areas: describing human perceptions of climate change; understanding and changing individual and household behaviour that drives climate change; and examining the human impacts of climate change and adaptation responses. Although much has been learned in these areas, we suggest important directions for further research.
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The authors thank J. Taylor of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and C. Werner of the University of Utah for their contributions to the workshop from which this paper developed. We also acknowledge the support of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (NSF award DBI-1052875).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Clayton, S., Devine-Wright, P., Stern, P. et al. Psychological research and global climate change. Nature Clim Change 5, 640–646 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2622
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