Discuss how psychology can be applied in solving the problems of global climate change. 10 marks. CSE 2018


Model answer outline:

Global climate change is mainly because of human activities. Both developing and developed countries are overusing fossil fuels and indulge in activities that lead to global warming and the resulting climate change.

Psychology has scope to explain why people, despite being aware of the consequences for the whole society, get trapped in the selfish attitude, popularly known as the” tragedy of the common”.

And psychologists believe that psychological principles could be used to control such damaging motive and attitudes.

1.Psychology of motivation: Human beings are rational beings. We get motivated by reasons. We must spread the reason why we must control this problem.

Moreover, awareness and knowledge are not enough. People should be made to feel their individual accountability. This approach controls so called phenomena of social loafing .

Use of rewards and punishments to regulate the behaviour of individual as well as institution towards the target norms. Pollution check certificate is a suitable example in this regard.

2 Psychology of attitudes development and change: Shaping and reinforcing pro environment attitudes: 

Attitudes are evaluating tendency and evaluations provide direction to behaviour.

Pro or Anti environmental attitudes are actualised . When water deficit Saudi Arabia, for example, tries to grow wheat, this attitude should not be encouraged as water table is going down too rapidly. It puts heavy demand for Desalinated water which uses fossil fuels.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological perspective shapes our attitudes that human and environment are mutually interdependent. If environment gets damaged, we can’t be spared.

3. Concerted effort

World is a community. Principles of social psychology could be used. The principles of participation , and common decision making bring great compliance. Different environmental summits are good effort in this direction.


Use of technology and psychology will provide the key to the problem of climate change. 

-Arun kumar,

Mentor-Beautiful Mind