“What represents a â€œsustainable lifestyle,â€ and how might competing visions of this be reconciled? How might desirable lifestyle changes be achieved? Will existing beliefs and choices help or hinder the uptake and diffusion of particular low-carbon technologies? And what models and evidence can policymakers draw from to encourage the development of appropriate social norms and sustainable behavior?
Of all the human sciences with a potential to contribute to the key task of understanding and informing behavior change in the environmental domain, psychology, broadly defined as the study of human beliefs and behavior, has been particularly underused.”
Alexa Spence and Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University write in Environment Magazine that meeting existing and future climate change targets will require rapid social transformations that economics and technology alone cannot induce. We must, they say, also face up to the thorny question of human behaviour.