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Why Do Our Brains Ignore Climate Change


As an Undergraduate teacher of Psychology in the Social Sciences you can use this lesson plan to teach your students aspects of behavioural science, explain why our brains are wired to ignore climate change, and discuss potential behavioural science solutions to the climate crisis.

This lesson plan provides teaching resources that would help your students learn about some cognitive and psychological factors that influence an individual’s response to climate change. It includes discussions on how the human brain responds most strongly to threats that are direct, visible, and immediate. As the impacts of climate change are rarely such, we tend to have psychological barriers that prevent meaningful sustained climate action for the long term. The lesson plan further includes resources to show how behavioural science could provide some solutions to the climate crisis.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to teach aspects of Behavioural Psychology in your Social Sciences classroom. This lesson plan can be used as a module in a Behavioral Psychology course or as a topic in Behavioural Psychology in an Introductory Psychology course.

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Learn about behavioural psychology and climate psychology
  2. Understand cognitive and psychological factors that influence responses to climate change
  3. Understand psychological barriers to climate action
  4. Discuss behavioural science approaches for climate solutions

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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