Picture shows Gerhard Reese sitting at a kitchen table ©P. Sittinger

Teaser: Transformation towards sustainability - Psychological barriers and catalysts of change

18.02.2022 Talk by Prof. Dr. Gerhard Reese at ISEP on 11. May 2022

There is near-to-perfect academic consensus that humanity is responsible for the deteriorating situation of the earth system. This situation, characterized – among others – by biodiversity loss, land-system change and climate change, requires rapid and concerted action in order to prevent life-threatening scenarios. Long neglected, the psychological processes involved in transforming society to a sustainable one contribute to an understanding of the systemic change we need. In this talk, I argue that a focus on collective, rather than individual, processes is vital to define the levers in the system. Specifically, I will position the role of these processes within a multilevel model of transformation. Emerging from this perspective, I present empirical work on different behaviors (e.g., mobility, dietary behavior, activism, consumption, policy support), and how these are subject to social identity concerns. I hope for a stimulating and controversial discussion on how this research informs limits and potentials of psychology in understanding – and overcoming – global crises.  

Gerhard Reese is Professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau and head of the study programme "Human-Environment interactions". He studies catalysts and barriers of pro-environmental action and how individual and collective action contributes to a sustainable transformation of society. He also investigates emotional and behavioral consequences of the climate crisis (i.e. climate anxiety) and how nature contributes to human well-being.

When? 11 May 2022, 4.15 pm CET

Where? C HS 3

Contact if you have any questions: Astrid Kause (astrid.kause@leuphana.de)