Review: Psychology of Sustainable Development

Article excerpt

Review: Psychology of Sustainable Development By Peter Schmuck and Wesley P. Schultz (Eds.) Reviewed by Taciano Lemos Milfont University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil Peter Schmuck, & Wesley P. Schultz (Eds.). Psychology of Sustainable Development. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic, 2002. 327 pp. ISBN 1-4020- 7012-8 (hardcover). US$125.00

A psychology book dedicated to sustainable development is comprehensible for the reason that ecological problems were created, and still are, by patterns of behaviour. Thus, there is a principal question that this book aims to answer: "How can psychology help in the development of a sustainable society?" The authors demonstrate that psychology has an important role in the sense of promoting sustainable values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. As Peter H. Cock has concluded, psychology could help to change how we feel, think, and act in the world.

Eighteen contributors who come from seven countries and varying backgrounds wrote Psychology of Sustainable Development. Besides the table of contents, the list of contributors, the preface and the conclusion, the book is divided into 15 chapters, each comprised of four sections devoted to a specific theme.

The introductory section, which includes three chapters, points out historical aspects of sustainable development and its conceptualisation. This section shows that the transition to a sustainable future posits a social dilemma implying a revolution of ideas and also a challenge for psychologists.

The four chapters of the second section expound on the human relationship with nature from an individual perspective. This section emphasises four aspects that are crucial to the achievement of sustainable development: inclusion with nature, gender issues of sustainable development, environmental-specific emotions, and the experience and knowledge of people who are living sustainable lifestyles. …


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