Psychology and Climate Change: Chapter 5 - A diversity science approach to climate change

Elsevier, Psychology and Climate Change, 2018, Pages 95-124
Susan Clayton and Christie Manning

This chapter reviews psychological research on diversity and its implications for understanding public engagement with climate change. Meaningful and timely action on climate change will require engaging a diverse set of stakeholders, both within and between nations, in order to develop and implement more effective mitigation and adaptation policies; as such, there is an urgent need to better understand factors that drive differential engagement within increasingly diverse, pluralistic societies. In this chapter, we draw from current psychological perspectives on social identity, identity-based motivation, and belonging to explore how race, ethnicity, and class shape public engagement with the issue, and identify key social psychological processes that may contribute to persistent and substantial disparities in the environmental sector. We highlight empirical findings that illustrate the value of this approach, identify major gaps in current understanding, and discuss new avenues for future research on group-level conduits and barriers to climate change engagement.