Despite current and impending ecological impacts, public discourse on climate change has been muted, maintains Janet Swim, a psychologist who studies behavior and beliefs related to the environment.
“The lack of discussion has implications for the sense of urgency about climate change, the inability to formulate policies, and, at an interpersonal level, uncertainty about other’s belief positions on climate change,” Swim says. “There are many reasons for lack of discussion. Psychologically, the reasons range from denial to not knowing how to most effectively talk about climate change.”
Swim, a professor of psychology at Penn State’s University Park campus, will discuss the latest research on these topics in “Teaching the Choir to Sing: Encouraging Discourse About Climate Change Sustainability,” the next Colloquium Series in Psychological Sciences and Human Behavior event at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Her talk takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in the second-floor auditorium of the Reed Union Building; admission is free and open to the public.
Swim received a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association in recognition of her contributions as past chair of the APA’s Interface Between Psychology and Climate Change task force. She also is past present of the association’s Population and Environmental Psychology Division.
The Colloquium Series in Psychological Sciences and Human Behavior is hosted by Penn State Behrend’s B.A. and B.S. in Psychology degree programs and by the student Psychology Coalition with support from the Susan Hirt Hagen CORE (Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation), the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Student Activity Fee. For additional information, contact Carol Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, at 814-898-6082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.