Spring 2024 - PSYC 366 D100

Psychology and Environmental Sustainability (3)

Class Number: 1633

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and PSYC 260.



A survey of some of the ways that psychological theorizing and research, and social psychology in particular, can be applied to environmental sustainability. Introduces students to some of the environmental challenges faced by contemporary humans and the psychological implications of those challenges. Students with credit for PSYC 391 Psychology and Environmental Sustainability may not take PSYC 366 for further credit.


The course will provide students with an understanding of the many ways in which social psychological theorizing and research can be applied to our understanding of environmental sustainability. In addition, the course serves to introduce students to a range of environmental challenges faced by contemporary humans. Topics include social influence, norms, persuasion, materialism and consumption, sustainable happiness, environmental identity, nature connection, environmental inequality and environmental justice, collective action, and social change.


After successful completion of this course, students will: 

  1. Have developed a basic understanding of climate change and other environmental problems (for example, knowing that human-caused climate is happening, as well as its causes and consequences). 
  2. Be able to explain multiple social psychological theories (related to social norms, well-being, identity, power and inequality, etc.) and describe existing evidence for their predictions.
  3. Be able to apply social psychological theories to environmental issues.
  4. Understand and be able to articulate reciprocal relationships between how humans relate to other humans and how humans relate to the rest of the natural world.
  5. Be able to critique approaches to sustainability using social psychology.
  6. Be able to critique approaches to sustainability using a justice/equity lens.
  7. Have an increased sense of agency in making their own positive contribution to addressing environmental problems. 


  • In-class Writing: 5%
  • Short Paper: 5%
  • Mid-Term 1: 20%
  • Mid-Term 2: 20%
  • Final Paper: 25%
  • Final Exam: 25%


Evaluation is tentative until the syllabus is distributed.



No Textbook Required.   Readings will be available online through the SFU Library, or elsewhere online. 


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.