Spring 2020 - PSYC 106 D100

Psychological Issues in Contemporary Society (3)

The Psychology of Climate Change

Class Number: 7655

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



Relates contemporary knowledge from psychology to current social problems. Provides relevant information from studies pertaining to problems such as attitude development, prejudice, race relations, addiction, behavior technology, and family pathology. Course can be repeated for credit. See Psychology department website for course description. Students may not take this course for further credit if similar topics are covered. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Psych 106 - Psychology of Climate Change
The Psychology of Climate Change is a timely course that explores the important role of Psychology in the mitigation of, and adaptation to our changing climate. There are no prerequisites; the course is appropriate for all students. The course provides a brief introduction to the climate change basics, including its mechanisms and impacts, and how scientists measure and model climate.
We then address how psychological science can help us answer questions like:
•  What is the best way to communicate about climate change, and how does one spot climate misinformation?
•  how does the functioning of the human brain influence our understanding of, and decisions to take action on, the issue of climate change?

•  What roles do culture and inequity play in the adaptation to climate change?
•  How does empathy for nature develop?
•  How does climate change influence kids, and how can kids influence climate change?
•  How does climate change influence human mental health and wellbeing?
In addition, there will be guest speakers covering a variety of additional topics. 


  • Grading is calculated as follows:
  • Each for a midterm and final test (administered on the last day of class—no final exam): 25%
  • Two projects: 30%
  • Weekly In-Class assignments: 20%



Readings include government report summaries, scientific journal articles, press articles, and book chapters. No textbook is necessary.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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