Why Psychology Is Mute about the Environmental Crisis

Kidner, David W.
Environmental Ethics Vol. 16/4 (1994), pages 359-376

Psychology, often defined as the science of human behavior, has so far had little to say about the environmental destruction which is currently occurring as the result of human behavior. I consider the reasons why it has not and suggest that the ideological preconceptions that underpin the discipline are similar to those of the technological-economic system that is largely responsible for degradation of the environment. Psychology, by normalizing the behavioral, life-style, and personality configurations associated with environmental destruction, and lacking a historical perspective on changes in consciousness and technology, is unable to contribute effectively to the ecological debate. I conclude that the discipline needs to locate itself historically and ideologically before it can offer an adequate analysis of environmental destruction.