Kim Wolske, Paul Stern

In this chapter, we seek to answer two questions: What does psychology know about encouraging individual and household behaviors to limit climate change, and where can psychology contribute most to climate change mitigation through future research? We argue that to meet climate change mitigation targets, psychologists need to look beyond the behaviors they have typically studied—frequent curtailment behaviors that are easy to measure—and focus on actions that have a greater impact over the long term. To guide these efforts, we present a conceptual framework that classifies individual and household behaviors by their potential to reasonably achieve emissions reductions. We then review available evidence regarding the determinants of those behaviors, identify gaps in research efforts to date, and conclude by pointing to more productive research directions for psychologists working in this area.