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Climate change psychology: Coping and creating solutions
Date:4/18/2011

e Between Psychology and Global Climate Change. "Moreover, psychology can play a significant role to help limit or mitigate climate change," she wrote.

Researchers analyzed human consumption and population as two globally significant factors accelerating climate change and emphasized how different cultures and ethical issues must be considered in an article entitled, "Human Behavioral Contributions to Climate Change," by Swim, Susan Clayton, PhD, of the College of Wooster, and George S. Howard, PhD, University of Notre Dame. "Cultural practices influence psychological factors by defining what are considered needs versus mere desires and by making particular behavior options possible, feasible and desirable," they wrote.

Climate change is a particularly challenging issue to confront because it evokes a different human response compared to other global crises, according to Thomas J. Doherty, PhD, of the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and Clayton.

"Altruistic or community-supportive responses are associated with natural disasters, whereas uncertainty and divisiveness are associated with technological disasters. The human response to climate change blurs the distinction typically found between responses to natural and technological disasters," they reported in a piece entitled "The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change."

Psychologists can use interventions drawn from disaster psychology and support long-term adjustment that recognizes varied responses to natural and technological disasters, the article states. They identified psychological impacts of climate change as acute and direct mental health injuries associated with extreme weather, natural disasters and degraded environments; indirect impacts, such as anxiety and uncertainty; and psychosocial impacts, including heat-related violence, conflicts over resources, migrations, dislocations and chronic environmental stress.

The issue up
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Contact: Lisa Bowen
public.affairs@apa.org
202-336-5700
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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