Video/ Microlecture: Human Cognition and Climate Denial

A video titled ‘Cognition of Climate Change Denial’ by Stephen Lewandowsky, University of Western Australia, that explains how human cognition processes and responds to climate change. The video discusses different psychological and cognitive factors, perceptions, attitudes, and individual political beliefs that influence the way people address the issue of climate change.

Students will learn about different psychological factors that influence society to either accept or deny climate change. Using climate science data, they will also learn about how capitalism and politics can influence mass opinions on who could be responsible for contributing to global warming. Students will further learn how opinions, attitudes and perceptions can change the way society addresses, reacts, mitigates and adapts to climate change.  

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What cognitive and psychological factors influence climate change responses?
  2. How can behavioural science provide solutions to the climate crisis?

About the tool: 

Tool NameCognition of Climate Change Denial 
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Psychology
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Climate Change Denial, Capitalism 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Microlecture (22 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate  
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byStephen Lewandowsky at the University of Sydney
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/ Microlecture: The Wiring of Our Brain

A video titled ‘Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change’ by George Marshall, author and founder of Climate Outreach and Information Network, that focuses on how the human brain is wired to ignore climate change even though it is such a critical problem. Marshall discusses how the human brain tends to respond to threats that are direct, visible, immediate and have a defined ‘enemy’ and how climate change impacts are none of those things. He further discusses how this creates psychological barriers that prevent future climate change action. 

Students will learn about the various psychological factors and mechanisms that cause humans to ignore climate change and its impacts. They will also learn that only when we understand what motivates, excites and threatens us, will we be able to make sense of the reality of the current climate crisis. Students will further learn why behavioural psychology is important in better understanding climate change and for climate change actions and solutions. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is behavioural psychology?
  2. What are some of the psychological barriers that prevent sustained climate action?
  3. How can behavioural science provide solutions to the climate crisis?

About the tool: 

Tool NameDon’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
Discipline Social Sciences, Psychology
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Climate Change Denial 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Microlecture (55 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate  
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byGeorge Marshall at Talks at Google
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Behavioural Psychology and Climate Change

As a teacher of Psychology in the Social Sciences you can use this video to teach your students aspects of behavioral science, explain the limitations of our brains in perceiving climate change, and discuss potential behavioral science solutions to the climate crisis.

Through this video students will understand the concept of psychological distance and how that impacts individual behavior towards climate change. Students will learn about the limitations of the human mind and how effective personal, visual images can be in choosing sustainable lifestyles. Furthermore, students will learn the stages of behavioral psychology from cognitive perception to emotional relation to behavior change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is behavioral psychology?
  2. How do cognitive and psychological factors like ‘psychological distance’ influence responses to climate change?
  3. What effective measures can be taken to instigate behavioral changes at an individual level when responding to the climate crisis?

About the Tool

Tool Name The Psychology of Climate Change
Discipline Social Sciences, Psychology
Topic(s) in Discipline Behavioral Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychological Bias, Psychological Distance
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of Tool Video (30 mins)
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location  US
Language English
Translation
Developed by Sabine Pahl, University of Plymouth
Hosted at PICSCanada
Link Link
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic