Posted // 2009-08-06 -
Frequently, hard-line conservatives give scientists the middle-finger by asserting global warming is a myth—or that it's not caused by man. A recent study by the APA (American Psychological Association) —yes, that most annoying field of psychology that gets to the root of things—gives a long, 230 page explanation for this behavior, along with possible solutions.
In its analysis, the study says that psychologists can help motivate people to act on climate change by describing “how psychological processes of risk perception and stress management may alter people's willingness to make anticipatory adaptations to climate risks.”
The study also states that “emphasis should be placed on changes that have large potential effects on emissions.” This is a change from the “a little does a lot!” mode of thinking, which emphasizes the need to recycle, turn off lights, and other things that people aren't so good at doing consistently.
But most importantly, especially for all the Glen Beck-philes out there, is that “the importance of emotional or affective responses may need to be explained to those outside of psychology.” Yes, some may be passionate about why global warming is a liberal conspiracy. But, no matter how zealous it may be, that mindset has nothing to do with the litany of solid research to the contrary and everything to do with individual's psychological processes.