The Finblog on “What Is Conservation Psychology?”
Thank you for all the messages – it’s great to see so many people interested in conservation psychology!
Conservation psychology is not considered a ‘sub-discipline’ of psychology, but rather, a ‘field’ – the difference being that a ‘sub-discipline’ involves members that are trained in the same area (e.g., podiatrists/podiatry), while a ‘field’ encompasses people that have been trained in different disciplines, but together focus on a common issue. So, conservation psychology includes a network of scientists (e.g., conservation psychologists, ecologists, marine biologists) and practitioners (e.g., environmental educators, tourism operator workers, policy makers).
Conservation psychology a relatively new field of study that emerged around the early 2000s. There are two key goals that guide researchers and practitioners affiliated with this area:
1. How humans care about nature (with ‘care’ labeled the ‘fundamental starting point’ for pro-environmental action)
2. How humans behaviour toward nature
“Conservation psychology is the scientific study of the reciprocal relationships between humans and the rest of nature, with the goal of encouraging conservation of the natural world.”
Research topics and areas of interest include but are not limited to: human experiences of nature (e.g., relationships with pets, effects of indoor plants on human well-being); captive and non-captive wildlife tourism experiences (e.g., the conservation impact of eco-tourism); environmental identity; and the study of attitudes, values, and perceptions of/toward nature.”
If you’re interested to learn more about the area, this book might be useful.