2nd Edition

The Applied Psychology of Sustainability

By Robert G. Jones Copyright 2020
    436 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    436 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Why doesn’t everyone see sustainability as a huge issue? Why don’t people think more carefully before making choices? What will it take for people to change? Examining the many psychological factors that lead to human behavioral effects on the environment, this book answers these questions definitively and provides practical guidance for approaches that have been used to successfully stimulate change.

    The Applied Psychology of Sustainability provides an extensive, integrated definition of the processes that lead to climatic, ecological, and socio-economic results: It defines a Psychology of Sustainability. Each chapter applies elements from the core research areas of cognitive, social, and developmental psychology into the context of criteria specific to sustainability. Comprehensively updated to embrace great change in the field, this new edition expands on critical issues yet maintains its strong foundation that the psychology of decisions is the essential precursor to sustainability and that these decisions should be treated as the primary target of change.

    Throughout the book, readers will find new ways of framing questions related to human adaptability and evolutionary psychology. The Applied Psychology of Sustainability is essential reading for students and professionals in a range of disciplines who wish to contribute to this crucial conversation.

    1. Applied Psychology and The Environment: Promises and Assumptions
    2. Applied Science and Sustainability: Some Basic Competencies
    3. The Determinist in Us All
    4. Differences Among People
    5. Opening the Black Box
    6. Social Contexts
    7. Development, Identity Formation, And Motivation
    8. Learning and Behavior Change
    9. Processes in Applied Psychology
    10. Broad Interventions
    11. The Adaptive Capacity Scorecard




    Robert G. Jones is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Missouri State University. He has consulted in organizational development and personnel decisions for over twenty-five years and has done public service work in community organizing for green space preservation and policy making for urban energy and growth management. His research and professional interests are in industrial and organizational psychology, and relate to management, prejudice, and ethical decision making.

    "Are you a psychologist? Not a psychologist? This volume is for anyone who has an interest in sustainability, as well as for classes in related topics. Extremely well thought-out and accessible, Jones’s volume is a unique contribution in applied psychology. It is a must for those involved in environmental policy – who are, after all, trying to change human behavior. Work for a sustainable product start-up? This book suggests your advertising campaign. While tempering our tendency to promote "the answer," Jones gives us a path toward changing what matters – ourselves – and argues persuasively for a greater role for applied psychology." - Lilias Jarding, Professor, Oglala Lakota College and Director of Evaluation, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, USA.

    "Incisive, honest, rigorous treatment of the psychological underpinnings of human decision-making and behavior. Essential reading for understanding, building, and promoting sustainable and regenerative interventions." - Elise L. Amel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Chair, Department of Earth, Environment and Society, University of St. Thomas, USA.

    "Those of us in the sustainability arena agree that, as a species, we cannot continue on our current path and that it is our actions that have brought us to this point. If we are to survive, it will also be our actions (collectively and individually) that offer any hope of future generations having the opportunity to enjoy life on this planet as we have.  We see making every effort to bring about this change in direction as our responsibility, our obligation and we seek out every tool we think may serve us in our quest. Robert Jones offers invaluable insight into seeking to understand the how and why decisions were made, actions were taken that have resulted in our over consumption of the planet’s resources and the associated social and economic challenges. The next step: how can we, within ethical boundaries, utilize this same knowledge to bring about the change in direction we so desperately seek?" - Barbara Lucks, ISSP, retired Sustainability Officer for City of Springfield, MO, USA.

    "In this extraordinary, contemporary, in-depth text on sustainability, Professor Robert Jones examines the human behaviors and thought process that lead to serious outcomes for the environment and the world we live in. His depth of experience in organizational research and professional commitment to the environment come through in this outstanding text that asks profound questions and provides an up-to-date analysis of the psychology of sustainability. A must-read for anyone interested in the human angle to sustainability!" - Mahima Saxena, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA.

    Praise for the first edition…

    "In this brilliantly structured textbook, Robert Jones delves into the aspects of human psychology that underlie contemporary issues in sustainability. He couples his passion for improving the human condition with a deep understanding of the psyche, asking the crucial question: How can psychology help us understand and adapt to a rapidly changing world? I commend this text as an excellent introduction to the field of environmental psychology."Neal Ashkanasy, Professor of Management, University of Queensland, Australia.