GCC 3041/5041

Transition to a Sustainable World: Can Psychology Help Facilitate Global Sustainability?

Despite understanding the consequences of not acting to curb unsustainability, why do people fail to act? Human’s behavioral apathy toward sustainability may be due to an inaccurate characterization of sustainability and/or a lack of understanding of cultural diversity and behavior. Therefore, an understanding of the human behavior will contribute greatly to (i) decipher human actions that negatively impact global ecosystems, (ii) slowdown or stop human ecologically destructive trajectory, and (iii) promote sustainable alternatives. The problem is that environmental issues are not generally included in psychology programs, and psychology is not often represented in environmental programs. In the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development goals 2030 (UN SDG 2030), psychological indices have been conspicuously absent (except for mental health in general terms) even though environmental degradation, social or economic inequity, all are implicated by human behavior. The UN SDG 2030 is based on the unproven concept that sustainability is an intersection of social, economic and environmental factors, the key pillars of sustainability. Since economic activity and society are subsets of human behavior, psychology should be considered central to unsustainability and/or sustainability. Therefore, we hypothesize that behavioral psychology has a critical role to play in creating a sustainable society. The aim of the proposed GCC is to discuss (un)sustainability using this new paradigm that will allow new approaches to achieve transition from unsustainability to sustainability worldwide. The specific aims of the proposed GCC are following: (i) Describe interaction between sustainability and behavioral psychology as the 4th pillar of sustainability. (ii) Explain the behavioral correlates of cultural differences in terms of transition to sustainability. (iii) Explain the consumption (related to unsustainability) and conservation (related to sustainability) behavior. (iv) Determine the place of Psychology in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are mostly based on Sociology, Economy and Environment. (v) Describe humanity’s transition from unsustainable to sustainable development.