Introduction to the psychological dimensions of sustainability

Victor Corral-Verdugo*, Martha Frías-Armenta, Cirilo H. García-Cadena

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Capítulo del libro/informe/acta de congresoPrólogo/epílogo

15 Citas (Scopus)


Environmental problems represent a serious threat to life on Earth. In present days, those problems manifest as global climatic change, degradation and depredation of natural resources, species extinction, violence, socio-economic crises, and an infinitude of social and ecological disturbances. Since most of the current environmental crisis has been caused by human behavior, knowledge regarding what predisposes people to behave sustainably is required. Sustainable behavior is the set of actions resulting in the conservation of natural and social resources, and psychology and other behavioral sciences are committed to study what incites people to engage in conservationist actions. The elucidation of the psychological dimensions of sustainability is a primordial step in designing interventional strategies aimed at encouraging people to behave in accordance with sustainability principles. These principles establish that human lifestyles have to be re-directed to meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the future; in doing this, the integrity of natural resources should be guaranteed. Environmental psychology (EP) is the branch of science dealing with the study of environment-behavior interactions, including those aimed at conserving the natural and social resources of our planet. In this sense, EP studies the psychological dimensions of sustainability. Those dimensions involve psychological tendencies and capacities (pro-environmental attitudes, motives, beliefs, norms, skills, etc.) influencing sustainable behavior (pro-ecological, altruistic, frugal, and equitable actions). EP is also interested in the physical and social contexts that induce the adoption of more sustainable lifestyles. Sustainable behavior has a special purpose: achieving people's wellbeing in diverse spheres of human existence. These spheres include enjoying a healthy and meaningful life, as well as experiencing happiness. Thus, the psychology of sustainability addresses the personal and contextual determinants of sustainable behavior, the lifestyles that constitute such behavior, and its positive consequences on people's wellbeing. This book is aimed at describing and discussing what is known regarding all these factors. Its chapters deal with sustainable behaviors, their antecedents and consequences, trying to provide a coherent and integral view of the psychology of sustainability. An overview of the composition and content of this text is presented, by integrating its chapters' topics in terms of the specified characterization of psychological dimensions of sustainability.

Idioma originalInglés
Título de la publicación alojadaPsychological Approaches to Sustainability
Subtítulo de la publicación alojadaCurrent Trends in Theory, Research and Applications
EditorialNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Número de páginas16
ISBN (versión impresa)9781626188778
EstadoPublicada - 2013


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