Not available in 2021/22
Behavioural Science for Planetary Wellbeing - Dissertation
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Dr Ganga Shreedhar
This course is available on the MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.
We live on a changing planet, and need to confront multiple human-caused global challenges like climate change and mass extinction through coordinated and cooperative action. This course aims to introduce students to concepts and tools from Behavioural Science, especially environmental and ecological economics and psychology, understand to the interplay between human behaviour and global environmental and ecological change in ten lectures such as: (1) unpacking the human-nature dilemma (2) adapating and mitigating climate and environmental risks (3) conservating non-human nature (4) fostering individual and collective action (5) making organisations sustainable (6) political action and policy support (7) behavioural climate and conservation policy I: deliberation, awareness, persuasion & nudges (8) behavioural climate and conservation policy II: incentives, infrastructure & regulation (9) coping with complex and uncertain systems (10) planetary wellbeing as a societal objective. The course seeks to impart knowledge of, and critical thinking about, the interconnections between human behaviour and wellbeing, and planetary change across multiple scales and entities. Each lecture and seminar will cover individual, social and situational barriers and enablers to sustainable behaviour change. It will emphasise holistic thinking about overlapping systemic challenges and factors to keep in mind while designing integrated and context-specific behavioural interventions.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.
The course will be delivered through a combination of interactive classes/seminars and lectures and supplementary interactive live activities. There will be structured learning activities throughout the course, espeically in the seminars, including student presentations and group work.
There will be no teaching during reading week (Week 6).
- Ostrom, E., 2010. Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change. Global environmental change, 20(4), pp.550-557.
- Amel, E., Manning, C., Scott, B. and Koger, S., 2017. Beyond the roots of human inaction: Fostering collective effort toward ecosystem conservation. Science, 356(6335), pp.275-279.
- Clayton, S., Devine-Wright, P., Stern, P.C., Whitmarsh, L., Carrico, A., Steg, L., Swim, J. and Bonnes, M., 2015. Psychological research and global climate change. Nature Climate Change, 5(7), pp.640-646.
- Gifford, R., 2011. The dragons of inaction: psychological barriers that limit climate change mitigation and adaptation. American psychologist, 66(4), p.290.
- Adams, M., 2021. Critical psychologies and climate change. Current Opinion in Psychology.
- Bouman, T. and Steg, L., 2019. Motivating society-wide pro-environmental change. One Earth, 1(1), pp.27-30.
- Weber, E.U., 2020. Heads in the Sand: Why We Fail to Foresee and Contain Catastrophe. Foreign Aff., 99, p.20.
- Yoeli, E., Budescu, D.V., Carrico, A.R., Delmas, M.A., DeShazo, J.R., Ferraro, P.J., Forster, H.A., Kunreuther, H., Larrick, R.P., Lubell, M. and Markowitz, E.M., 2017. Behavioral science tools to strengthen energy & environmental policy. Behavioral Science & Policy, 3(1), pp.68-79.
- Croson, R. and Treich, N., 2014. Behavioral environmental economics: promises and challenges. Environmental and Resource Economics, 58(3), pp.335-351.
- Horton, R., Beaglehole, R., Bonita, R., Raeburn, J., McKee, M. and Wall, S., 2014. From public to planetary health: a manifesto. The Lancet, 383(9920), p.847.
Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) post-summer term.
You are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation (replacing the essay and presentation). You are expected to attend the course teaching on the half-unit that you chose to write your dissertation on.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Total students 2020/21: Unavailable
Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable
Controlled access 2020/21: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills