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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherNYU Press
Number of pages352
ISBN (Electronic)9781479835515
ISBN (Print)9781479891863, 9781479812301
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Publication series

NamePsychology and the Law


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