Social Psychology and a Sustainable Future 1
Social Psychology and the Sustainable Future.
Warren W Stephens.
Southwestern Assembly Of God University.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course PSY 3453
Social psychology and the sustainable future 2.
Social Psychology and the Sustainable Future. What has Global warming, Ozone Layer Depletion, Soil Erosion, Air Pollution, Carbon Emissions, and other environmental issues have to do with Social Psychology? One of the reasons for writing this paper, is to answer that question by showing the relationship between the environment in which we live and social psychology. I will endeavor to do this by looking at a root cause behind our ecological dilemma, as well as offering possible solutions and suggestions for social behavioral changes that each one of us could employ, as not only caring human beings, but as Christians fulfilling our God-given mandate to rule over the earth He created in the capacity of caretakers and stewards.
As explained by Dr. David G Myers in his excellent book entitled "Exploring Social Psychology", the study of social psychology is a study in which "social psychologists scientifically explore how we as humans think about, influence, and relate to one another" [ Myers 2009 p.1]. He goes on to quote novelist Herman Melville’s poignant observation, which states, "we cannot live for ourselves alone, for our lives are connected by 1000 invisible threads" [Myers 2009 p.1]. And therein lies the root cause of our ecological problems. Because of our social orientation [being our personality psychology or "psychodynamics" which forms our "worldview" by the way we've been taught to think and act within the society in which we grew up], most people and societies, if not all, are inherently self-centered.
A perfect example of this societal "self-centeredness" is clearly seen here in the United States of America, more so than in any other place in the world. The unrestrained, unbridled, and
Social Psychology and the Sustainable Future 3
unprecedented consumerism and waste has sadly become this countries "social norm". Generally speaking, we as humans, tend to give little thought, either intentionally or unintentionally, about how our attitude, actions, and behaviors might affect others in the society in which we live: or for that matter, the rest of the world.
Because our lives are connected by 1000 invisible threads, our attitude, behavior, and actions cannot help but effect others. We are connected in many different ways, but primarily we are connected by being members of one and the same human race, sharing an earth which we all call home. Therefore, social psychology and the sustainable future of our environment are connected in the sense that as human beings, sharing the same earth, social psychologist can positively influence societies to bring about change through implementing strategies within a society through educational and other means, that would address the need for "other-centeredness", as opposed to "self-centeredness" within our societies.
This hopefully, through educational campaigns, would over time alter social norms throughout global societies, and help to positively shape our...
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