The Psychology of Environmental Law

The Psychology of Environmental Law

Psychology and the Law

by Arden Rowell and Kenworthey Bilz

Foreword by Linda J. Demaine

Published by: NYU Press

336 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 1 b/w illustration

  • ISBN: 9781479891863
  • Published: February 2021


Offers psychological insights into how people perceive, respond to, value, and make decisions about the environment
Environmental law may seem a strange space to seek insights from psychology. Psychology, after all, seeks to illuminate the interior of the human mind, while environmental law is fundamentally concerned with the exterior surroundings—the environment—in which people live.
Yet psychology is a crucial, undervalued factor in how laws shape people’s interactions with the environment. Psychology can offer environmental law a rich, empirically informed account of why, when, and how people act in ways that affect the environment—which can then be used to more effectively pursue specific policy goals. When environmental law fails to incorporate insights from psychology, it risks misunderstanding and mispredicting human behaviors that may injure or otherwise affect the environment, and misprescribing legal tools to shape or mitigate those behaviors.
The Psychology of Environmental Law provides key insights regarding how psychology can inform, explain, and improve how environmental law operates. It offers concrete analyses of the theoretical and practical payoffs in pollution control, ecosystem management, and climate change law and policy when psychological insights are taken into account.