Chapter 4: Environmental psychology and sustainable consumption
Environmental psychology studies the transaction between human and the built and natural environment (Gifford 2007; Steg et al. 2012). On the one hand environmental psychologists examine how environmental conditions affect our thought, behaviour and well-being. This can provide important insights in whether and how different environmental (or: situational) factors affect environmental behaviour and sustainable consumption. Also it reveals which environmental conditions threaten or enhance wellbeing that could be changed by promoting sustainable consumption. On the other hand environmental psychologists study how to encourage pro-environmental behaviour and sustainable consumption. The latter involves understanding which factors affect sustainable consumption, and which strategies can be effectively employed to promote sustainable consumption. In doing so environmental psychologists tend to consider individual, social, cultural and situational factors influencing behaviour (change), as will be exemplified later in this chapter.
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