USA TODAY International Edition
What it means to think green
Psychologists urge eco-consciousness
Thosewhomake human behavior their business aim tomake living green your business.
Armed with new research into what makes some people environmentally conscious and others less so, the 148,000-member American Psychological Association is stepping up efforts to foster a broader sense of eco-sensitivity that the group believes will translate into more public action to protect the planet.
“We know how to change behavior and attitudes. That is what we do,” says Yale University psychologist Alan Kazdin, association president. “We know what messages willwork andwhatwill not.”
During a four-daymeeting that begins today in Boston, an expected 16,000 attendees will hear presentations, including studies that explore how people experience the environment, their attitudes about climate change and what social barriers prevent conservation of resources. Among the yet-unpublished findings: uWalking outside rather than inside — even for just 15 minutes — makes you feel happier, more energetic and more protective of the environment, found two studies involving 220 students conducted by psychologists at CarletonUniversity inOttawa. Researcher Elizabeth Nisbet suggests the findings have broader implications forwell-being and mental health.
“People knowoutside is going to feel much better for thembut underpredict howhappy they’re going to feel
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