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Conservation psychology is an emerging specialty in the field of psychology. It uses principles of psychology to raise the awareness and compliance of individuals and groups in the area of supporting our finite resources and fragile ecosystem.
It uses the same core principles of psychology but in a manner that influences people to behave in supportive ways around the topic of the environment. For example, perception is a well studies aspect of psychology. However, the principles used in perception can be applied to conservation psychology. Figure-ground theory in Gestalt psychology shows us that what is important to us is noticed and most likely to be acted upon. Creating awareness of recycling symbols through the use of color and simple patterns helps people retain the information and therefore be more likely to recycle and promote recycling to others.
Social psychology is also employed in conservation psychology through an understanding of individual and group influence. Solomon Asch showed that conformity is increased when others follow certain patterns. The more people are attuned to supporting the environment through behaviors, the more likely they are to influence others in similar behaviors.
Therefore, almost all the principles that apply to general psychology can be angled and directed towards conservation and environmental needs. In this way, we can use psychological principles of influence to preserve our planet.
I hope this helps,Kate