Professor of psychology awarded Presidential Citation by APA

August 12, 2009

Janet Swim, professor of psychology at Penn State, has been awarded a Presidential Citation by the American Psychological Association (APA) for her work as the chair of a task force on the interface between psychology and climate change. A member of the APA Council of Representatives, Swim worked to form the task force, which for the last year has studied the effects of human psychology on the response to climate change. The task force presented its findings at APA's 117th annual Convention in Toronto, held from Aug. 6 to 9.

"The goal of the report is to engage psychologists in the topic of global climate change and, while doing so, point out to others several ways psychologists can contribute to a full range of issues that are relevant for progress to be made in this area," Swim said.

In their report, the task force discussed:

-- Psychological understandings of climate change and how best to engage the public, considering the fact that climate change is a perceived risk;
-- The role of population and consumption on climate change with a focus on psycho-social predictors of consumption behaviors;
-- The potential psychological and social impacts of global warming; and
-- Psychological understanding of adaptation to climate change and how psychology can help to identify psychological barriers that limit individual contribution to climate change. It also explored methods of encouraging people to alter their behavior to reduce their individual carbon footprints.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015