Susan Clayton

Susan Clayton
College of Wooster · Department of Psychology

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132
Publications
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Publications

Publications (132)
Article
Nature provides a myriad of intangible and non-material services to people. However, urbanites are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. The consequences of this progressive disconnection from nature remain difficult to measure as this process is slow and long-term monitoring or large-scale manipulation on nature experiences are scarce....
Article
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A growing body of research has documented the phenomenon of climate change anxiety (CCA), defined broadly as negative cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses associated with concerns about climate change. A recently validated scale of CCA indicated two subscales: cognitive emotional impairment and functional impairment (Clayton & Karazsia, 2...
Conference Paper
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Climate change denial (CCD) is a social attitude that expresses skepticism or unwarranted doubt about the scientific fact of climate change, including its consequences for people, society, nature as a whole and its individual species, as well as the possibility of adaptation to it through human efforts. Climate change is one of the global threats t...
Article
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Introduction Extreme weather events caused by climate change pose a risk to mental health. Illustrating this reality, this study estimates the impact of the 2021 Western North American heat dome (June 25th, 2021 – July 1st, 2021) on climate change anxiety among British Columbians. Methods We conducted an online survey of British Columbians, aged ≥...
Article
Background Compared with other health areas, the mental health impacts of climate change have received less research attention. The literature on climate change and mental health is growing rapidly but is characterised by several limitations and research gaps. In a field where the need for designing evidence-based adaptation strategies is urgent, a...
Article
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Background Climate change has important implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to climate anxiety. This is the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people globally and its relationship with perceived government res...
Article
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To most conservationists and many parents, it seems obvious that it is a good thing to teach children to value the natural world. Not only does connection with nature support their development and well‐being, but it also supports ongoing efforts by humans to sustain the natural world. However, there are incontrovertible trends towards a diminution...
Article
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Research indicates that beautiful nature can have positive impacts. Does polluted nature have a corresponding negative impact? This paper presents two experiments investigating the impact of viewing images of natural settings, on a college campus, that do or do not contain litter. The moderating role of environmental identity was also examined. Stu...
Article
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Conservation is predominantly an exercise in trying to change human behaviour – whether that of consumers whose choices drive unsustainable resource use, of land managers clearing natural habitats, or of policymakers failing to deliver on environmental commitments. Yet conservation research and practice have made only limited use of recent advances...
Article
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Human activities are degrading ecosystems worldwide, posing existential threats for biodiversity and humankind. Slowing and reversing this degradation will require profound and widespread changes to human behaviour. Behavioural scientists are therefore well placed to contribute intellectual leadership in this area. This Perspective aims to stimulat...
Article
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There is a strong scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is happening and that its impacts can put both ecological and human systems in jeopardy. Social psychology, the scientific study of human behaviours in their social and cultural settings, is an important tool for understanding how humans interpret and respond to climate change...
Article
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Purpose of Review This essay reviews evidence for the current and potential effects of climate change on mental health. Recent Findings A growing body of research demonstrates not only that the extreme weather events associated with a changing climate can impair mental health, in particular leading to increases in depression and post-traumatic str...
Article
Climate change is increasingly understood as a social justice issue by academics, policymakers, and the public, however, the nature of these perceptions, and their implications for cooperation and decision making, have only recently begun to receive empirical attention. We review emerging empirical work that suggests that morality and justice perce...
Article
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The environmental identity (EID) scale, first published in 2003, was developed to measure individual differences in a stable sense of interdependence and connectedness with nature. Since then, it has been reliably correlated with measures of environmental behavior and concern. However , the original scale was developed based on U.S. college student...
Article
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Background: Evacuation and sheltering are commonly used strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, but may negatively affect mental health of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Recently, Chinese governments have developed planned settlements providing integrated and intensive health services and environmental interventi...
Article
Children are worried about climate change. Environmental education aims to increase knowledge and pro-environmental behavior but typically gives little attention to meeting children’s emotional needs. This is particularly important as direct and indirect impacts of climate change, including the Australian bushfires in 2019–20, become more salient....
Article
In this issue of One Earth, Wang et al. provide evidence that extreme temperatures, particularly unusually warm days, are associated with more negative sentiment, as expressed in social media posts. This research is a reminder that the effects of climate change will include some that are both subtle and widespread.
Article
Climate change will affect psychological wellbeing. Substantial research has documented harmful impacts on physical health, mental health, and social relations from exposure to extreme weather events that are associated with climate change. Recently, attention has turned to the possible effects of climate change on mental health through emotional r...
Article
Direct experiences of nature are increasingly being replaced by technologically-mediated ones, with unclear implications for people's attitudes toward nature and toward environmental conservation. In this essay, we argue that it is useful to think not simply about the extinction of nature-based experience, but about the specific ways in which exper...
Article
There is increasing attention to the negative emotional responses associated with awareness of climate change. We present three studies developing a scale of climate change anxiety. In Study 1, the scale was developed and validated in an MTurk sample of 197. Exploratory factor analysis of our item pool revealed a four-factor structure, with cogniti...
Article
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has encouraged psychologists to become part of the integrated scientific effort to support the achievement of climate change targets such as keeping within 1.5C or 2C of global warming. To date, the typical psychological approach has been to demonstrate that specific concepts and theories can p...
Article
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Addressing the biodiversity crisis requires renewed collaborative approaches. Large carnivores are ambassador species, and as such they can aid the protection of a wide range of species, including evolutionarily distinct and threatened ones, while being popular for conservation marketing. However, conflicts between carnivores and people present a c...
Article
Full-text available
Addressing the biodiversity crisis requires renewed collaborative approaches. Large carnivores are ambassador species, and as such they can aid the protection of a wide range of species, including evolutionarily distinct and threatened ones, while being popular for conservation marketing. However, conflicts between carnivores and people present a c...
Article
Psychology has an important part to play in helping society understand and adapt to the growing threat of climate change. Psychological research has explored people’s perceptions and beliefs about climate change, uncovering some of the important factors that inhibit or promote awareness. Researchers have also begun to explore the current and potent...
Article
Research and theory from psychology are increasingly being utilized to understand potential impacts of climate change and to promote positive responses. In this Primer, Clayton describes three main areas in which psychological research provides relevant insights, and provides suggestions for encouraging mitigation and adaptation behavior.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Large carnivores are ambassador species, and as such they can aid the protection of a widerange of species, including evolutionarily distinct and threatened ones, while being popular for conservation marketing. However, conflicts between carnivores and people present a considerable challenge to biodiversity conservation. Our cross disciplinary essa...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental identity (EID) is a self-concept that incorporates and is defined by a relationship with nature. It is one of identities which inhere in every individual, and is very important for prediction various people’s social attitudes. To measure its level, Environmental identity scale is used. It the current paper, EID concept is substantiate...
Article
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This research investigated environmental literacy and nature experience among 1433 children and adults in Chengdu, China. Utilizing a standard measure of environmental literacy modified to be culture- and age-appropriate, we found almost universal agreement that nature should be protected. Although our results showed that older groups were less lik...
Book
Cambridge Core - Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Horticulture and forestry - Rewilding - edited by Nathalie Pettorelli
Article
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Effectively addressing environmental challenges such as climate change will require adopting policy measures that have some impact on collective human behavior. The present research examined attitudes toward different environmental policies, specifically focusing on the role of perceived justice. Justice was measured in two ways: as an assessment o...
Article
Awareness of the threats to mental health posed by climate change leads to questions about the potential impacts on climate scientists because they are immersed in depressing information and may face apathy, denial and even hostility from others. But they also have sources of resilience.
Article
Full-text available
Modern lifestyles have increased a separation between humans and nature while also integrating technology into daily life. The use of technology has not only supplanted people's traditional experiences with nature but begun to change them: Through videos and documentaries , we can discover windows opened onto wilderness, landscapes, places, and spe...
Article
The wildlife trade poses substantial threats to global biodiversity. China is a significant source of threatened species and also a market for wildlife products. Zoological parks (zoos), which are a popular leisure attraction in China as elsewhere, are increasingly conceptualized as places to educate visitors about both animals and environmental th...
Chapter
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This chapter makes a case for a focus on climate change community resilience-the study of a community’s capability to flexibly and effectively respond to climate change-in order to understand and promote functionally adaptive responses to climate change. While there is considerable research on the role of individual psychological processes in promo...
Article
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The increasing levels of stress entailed by contemporary urban lifestyles can lead to a greater desire to escape from cities. The restorative sense of ‘being away’ produced by natural environments has been substantially explored in greenspaces but little studied in zoos, which endeavour to immerse visitors in a local or exotic environment through b...
Article
As an organization that promotes socially relevant research, SPSSI encourages psychologists to engage in individual behaviors—their research activities—that are connected to issues of social interest. Thus, it can be argued that one of SPSSI's goals is to strengthen the connection between social issues and personal life, broadly defined. Some of th...
Article
Bridgeman (2017) describes the important role of population growth in contributing to environmental problems. The present essay argues that population is an important component of human impact on the environment, but it must be considered in combination with consumption rates. A place-based approach, examining the local context for reproductive dec...
Article
Much research has explored the effects of being in natural areas on human health, well-being and environmental concern. However, the combined effects of urbanization, biodiversity loss and the Western way of life reduce the opportunities to experience nature. Landscape management could play a prominent role in providing opportunities and motivation...
Article
The biodiversity crisis is not salient to many people. A zoo visit not only provides the opportunity to learn about the issue, but also provides direct experiences with animals that may increase public engagement. The present study used a nonequivalent pretest–posttest design to assess the impact of a zoo visit on conservation knowledge and engagem...
Article
The biodiversity crisis is not salient to many people. A zoo visit not only provides the opportunity to learn about the issue, but also provides direct experiences with animals that may increase public engagement. The present study used a nonequivalent pretest–posttest design to assess the impact of a zoo visit on conservation knowledge and engagem...
Article
Full-text available
Despite decades of awareness about the biodiversity crisis, it remains a wicked problem. Besides preservation and restoration strategies, one approach has focused on increasing public concern about biodiversity issues by emphasizing opportunities for people to experience natural environments. In this essay, we endeavor to complicate the understandi...
Article
Education has been proposed as an important way to increase environmental concern. Beyond providing information, education could also encourage a stable sense of oneself as connected to the natural world, or environmental identity (EID), which is a predictor of environmental concern and behavior. This study explored the relative roles of environmen...
Chapter
One of the most important personal challenges in our society is the construction of positive and lasting self-identities (e.g. Gergen 1991; Giddens 1991; Ryan and Deci 2003; Taylor 1989). The study of self and identity is also an important subject of research in social sciences, because of its cultural, social and psychological relevance, and becau...
Article
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The global biodiversity crisis requires an engaged citizenry that provides collective support for public policies and recognizes the consequences of personal consumption decisions. Understanding the factors that affect personal engagement in proenvironmental behaviors is essential for the development of actionable conservation solutions. Zoos and a...
Chapter
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The world faces significant challenges pertaining to the depletion and degradation of environmental resources. A public that is increasingly aware of resource scarcity, understands ecosystem interdependence, and frames the current situation in comparison to previous conditions, has become sensitized to the implications for personal and social justi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Existe una diferencia sustancial entre la evidencia científica sobre el cambio climático antropogénico y las respuestas humanas hacia esta evidencia. Las percepciones y respuestas al cambio climático difieren entre regiones del mundo y también dentro de cada país. Por lo tanto, la información sobre las actitudes y percepciones sobre el cambio climá...
Conference Paper
In the modern era of urban human development, the occidental way of life has increased a separation between humans and nature, together with a delegation of our sensory and cognitive abilities to technologies. For example, we delegate our senses of direction to GPS and other GoogleMap, our memory to search engines, and we make all calculations not...
Article
Full-text available
Human behaviour is integral not only to causing global climate change but also to responding and adapting to it. Here, we argue that psychological research should inform efforts to address climate change, to avoid misunderstandings about human behaviour and motivations that can lead to ineffective or misguided policies. We review three key research...
Article
Environmental challenges, though daunting, present an important area for psychologists to apply their knowledge. Psychological theories, research methods, and interventions are essential for examining the questions about human impacts, tendencies, and capacities that are integral to constructing effective responses to these challenges. Although a g...
Article
There is a substantial gap between the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change and the human response to this evidence. Perceptions of and responses to climate change can differ among regions of the world, as well as within countries. Therefore, information about the public's attitudes and perceptions related to climate change is essen...
Chapter
Full-text available
The world faces significant challenges pertaining to the depletion and degradation of environmental resources. A public that is increasingly aware of resource scarcity, understands ecosystem interdependence, and frames the current situation in comparison to previous conditions has become sensitized to the implications for personal and social justic...
Conference Paper
This session will feature emerging insights from the latest qualitative and quantitative research (conducted by ecoAmerica and other leading organizations) on how local climate change impacts are influencing human health, and subsequently, human mental health. It will include public health implications, and recommendations for designing and impleme...
Article
Full-text available
Climate literacy education can occur in a variety of formal and informal learning settings across an individual's life span. There is increasing recognition that informal learning settings such as zoos and aquariums have an opportunity to greatly contribute to individuals' science learning. Here we present the results of a large-scale survey study...
Article
Full-text available
Societal response to climate change has been inadequate. A perception that the issue is both physically and temporally remote may reduce concern; concern may also be affected by the political polarization surrounding the issue in the USA. A feeling of connection to nature or to animals may increase personal relevance, and a supportive social contex...
Article
Full-text available
The assumed ongoing disconnection between humans and nature in Western societies represents a profoundly challenging conservation issue. Here, we demonstrate one manifestation of this nature disconnection, via an examination of the representation of natural settings in a 70-year time series of Disney animated films. We found that natural settings a...
Article
Because individual responses to environmental threats typically contribute more to collective than individual wellbeing, some identification with the collective may be important. Environmental identity predicts proenvironmental behaviors. Could a national identity also serve as a motivator? The present paper examines predictors of environmental con...
Article
Responses to environmental crises will depend on the way in which these events are understood and characterized, perceptions that may be affected by media frames as well as by individual motivations. This paper reports on two studies looking at the role of justice and framing of environmental problems. In Study 1, 297 participants were asked to cha...
Article
Because environmental degradation has the potential to negatively affect mental and social well-being, environmental sustainability is highly relevant to psychologists, who have a tradition of interventions designed to change behavior. Although many psychologists are already using psychological knowledge and tools to protect environmental resources...
Article
Earth is now in a state without precedent, defined by human dominance of fundamental processes, including the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles; species extinctions; sedimentation; and ocean acidification. The world is also increasingly interdependent: people and places are linked by carbon and nitrogen as well as by globalization and the internet...
Article
Justice issues have been prominent in the environmental debate since its beginning in the second half of the twentieth century. This is not surprising, because environmental crises highlight our conceptions of justice, challenging us to consider their adequacy as well as their implications. Does current justice theory accurately describe the issues...
Article
To examine the impact of naming rights on support for environmental protection, we provided a high school class the opportunity to name a species of a parasitoid wasp after hearing a lecture on the extent and loss of biodiversity, with special focus on species description and climate change. Two other classes received the same presentation but were...
Article
The articles by Markowitz and Bowerman (2011) and by Liu and Sibley (2011) highlight the importance of individual behavior and attitudes in addressing climate change, and suggest reasons for optimism about the possibility of individual change. In this comment, I reflect on the role of identity in both studies. Appeals based on personal and group id...
Article
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This study describes the results of a survey of 432 homeowners in Ohio, USA concerning their perceptions and practices regarding management of residential landscapes. The results reveal that outdoor residential environments are extremely important to homeowners, who tend to view their yards as serving multiple functions: a place to observe nature a...
Technical Report
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There is overwhelming scientific agreement that global climate change is occurring and has been accelerated by human activity [11]. To slow the pace of climate change and its impacts, there is an immediate need for people to make informed decisions about actions in their daily lives related to global carbon emissions. Recent analyses indicate that...
Article
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In a telephone roundtable interview and discussion, five psychologists discussed their professional backgrounds and their work in areas such as environmental, population, and conservation psychology, ecopsychology, and the psychology of fostering sustainability. Participants were selected based on their upcoming involvement in a series of conversat...
Article
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As locations where social interactions center on animals, zoos may enable the development of an environmental identity that encourages concern for animals. Two field studies of zoo visitors assessed the level of concern for animals and predictors of that concern and looked for behaviors that might foster identity and concern. In one study, 1514 adu...
Article
Full-text available
We are facing rapid changes in the global climate, and these changes are attributable to human behavior. Humans produce this global impact through our use of natural resources, multiplied by the vast increase in population seen in the past 50 to 100 years. Our goal in this article is to examine the underlying psychosocial causes of human impact, pr...
Article
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An appreciation of the psychological impacts of global climate change entails recognizing the complexity and multiple meanings associated with climate change; situating impacts within other social, technological, and ecological transitions; and recognizing mediators and moderators of impacts. This article describes three classes of psychological im...