Environmental Psychology

Course Environmental Psychology (SS 20)
Sebastian Gölz
Corresponding Module
Specialization Option: EES I or II, Human and the Environment
Advanced Governance I and II

Human behaviour is a key factor for current global economic and ecological challenges . On the other hand, it is also a crucial resource which can be used to cope with these challenges. Environmental Psychology is an interdisciplinary field focusing on how human behavior and the physical environment interrelate. It is, for example, not sufficient to simply propose ways to solve global economic and ecological challenges. Substantial changes in people’s behavior are also needed. This course will introduce the basic elements of Environmental psychology.

In the first part of the course, students will study psychological theories and modelling (unit 1) along the topics of environmental awareness, climate change and sustainability. In the second part, students will become familiar with typical issues in applied fields of environmental psychology (unit 2) such as the attitudes-behavior gap, behavior in social dilemmas, and interventions and behavioral changes. As different technological innovations (e.g. e-mobility and renewable energies) promise improvement for ecological risks, the third part will focus on ways to combine environmental psychology with the domain of technology usage, acceptance and usability (unit 3). Practical will help the students to transfer new knowledge into their own small surveys and interventions. In the tutorials, selected topics will be presented by the students and discussed in depth.

Upon successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
(1) Orient yourself among existing theories of environmental psychology.
(2) Apply psychology theories and models to real-world settings.
(3) Elaborate basic designs for environmental interventions.
(4) Use environmental methodologies in complex transformation settings.
(5) Present/discuss a selected topic and write a paper (short publication).

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