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PSY 228. Conservation Psychology

Credits: 3
Department: Psychology
Description: Psychological aspects of conservation and sustainability in the context of environmental, ecological, evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives including attitudes, values, risk perception, environmental identity, human-nature interactions, behavioral interventions.
Semester Offered: Spring
Grading Method: ABCDF
Goal Area:
  • GOAL AREA 5: HISTORY AND THE SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
  • GOAL AREA 10: ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Apply the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, as linked to individual lifestyle choices (housing, transportation, etc.) and day-to-day behaviors (e.g., energy, water use).
2. Connect the urban ecosystem (plants, animals, and ecosystem services, etc.) and the place of humans within the system.
3. Analyze the psychological benefits of human contact with animals and plants and explain the marked preference that humans have for environments containing natural elements, and savanna-like settings as an evolved adaptation (i.e. biophilia).
4. Describe the categories, patterns and challenges of human contact with the natural world: domestic nature (e.g., pets, gardens), managed nature (e.g., zoos, parks,urban green spaces, community gardens, healing gardens), and wilderness areas.
5. Apply basic psychological theories and concepts related to risk perceptions, environmental values, attitudes, and attitude and behavior change (e.g. bounded rationality, values-belief-norm model, elaboration likelihood model).
6. Describe the connections between environmental identity, pro-environmental attitudes and environmentally sustainable behavior using a psychological perspective.
7. Create a behavioral intervention (e.g., design of physical affordances for conservation behaviors, persuasive messages and advertisements, simulations, informational feedback) for the promotion of sustainable behaviors.
8. Demonstrate critical thinking, from a psychological disciplinary viewpoint (e.g. the psychology of cooperation and conflict) about issues of sustainability and conservation on both a local and international scale (case histories of sustainable and unsustainable practices).






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