Conservation Psychology introduces the reader to the new and emerging field of Conservation Psychology, which explores connections between the study of human behavior and the achievement of conservation goals.
People are often cast as villains in the story of environmental degradation, seen primarily as a threat to healthy ecosystems and an obstacle to conservation. But humans are inseparable from natural ecosystems. Understanding how people think about, experience, and interact with nature is crucial for promoting environmental sustainability as well as human well-being.
Conservation Psychology first summarizes theory and research on human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to nature and goes on to review research on people's experience of nature in wild, managed, and urban settings. Finally, it examines ways to encourage conservation-oriented behavior at both individual and societal levels. Throughout, the authors integrate a wide body of published literature to demonstrate how and why psychology is relevant to promoting a more sustainable relationship between humans and nature.
"Overall, their book will likely serve as a main textbook for a dedicated course or seminar in conservation psychology. However, the book will also be of great value to researchers and those teaching related courses by providing greater depth of understanding of human drivers of pressing environmental issues."
- Landscape Ecol, 2011
"The book is an amply referenced survey, equally suitable as both an undergraduate textbook and a starting point for academics and professionals who wish to know more about how psychological research can inform their conservation work. I highly recommend its use in both of these contexts"
- The Journal of Environmental Conservation, 2010
"Conservation Psychology serves its audience and purpose well. It would be an excellent supplementary textbook to many conservation-focused graduate and undergraduate courses. Readers interested in conservation should find this volume fascinating, and will discover new insight into, as the authors note, the psychology of perseverance in the face of difficult times"
- The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1 December 2010
"I highly recommend their book to psychologists of all creeds as well as to conservation biologists, environmental scientists, policy-makers, teachers, and anyone concerned about our evolving place in nature."
- Conservation Psychology, August 2009
"Clayton and Myres have written a timely book. It heralds a new area within psychology. I highly recommend their book to psychologists of all creeds as well as to conservation biologists."
- Peter Verbeek, Science
1. Introducing the Field of Conservation Psychology
Part I: Thinking about nature
2. Attitudes, Values, and Perceptions
3. Moral Psychology and the Environment
4. Environment and Identity
5. Theoretical Foundations for the Human Response to Nature
Part II: Interactions with nature
6. Domestic Nature: Cohabiting with Plants and Animals
7. Managed Nature: Zoos, Aquariums, and Public Parks
8. Wild Nature: Encounters with Wilderness
Part III: Promoting conservation
9. Promoting Sustainable Behavior
10. Community Psychology and International Biodiversity Conservation
11. Environmental Education
12. The Psychology of Hope
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Susan Clayton is a professor of social psychology at the College of Wooster. Her research aims to understand the ways in which people relate to nature, as well as to investigate broader issues of identity and justice. She is a past president of the Society for Population and Environmental Psychology.
Olin Eugene (Gene) Myers Jr. is Associate Professor at Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University, where he offers courses in conservation psychology, human ecology, environmental ethics, and is extensively involved in undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental education. His research interests are wide-ranging and include psychology and anthrozoology as applied to conservation.