Talk by Prof. Dr. Christopher Hopwood

Vorschaubild Christopher Hopwood

Personality and the Environment

April 8, 2022, 10:00 h

Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, AND 4.06 (4th floor)

The natural environment is the general context in which humans live, and climate change represents a major event for humankind. How we engage with the environment will determine the magnitude and impacts of climate change, and variation in engagement can be explained, in part, by individual differences in personality. In this talk, I will discuss the results of five recent studies on links between personality and sustainability attitudes and behaviors. In the first study, I will present evidence from Europe and North America that early lead exposure had negative effects on personality development. In the next two studies, I describe results from representative samples in Germany and New Zealand suggesting that personality and personality change are developmentally related to environmental attitudes. In the third, I show links between personality traits and aspects and four major classes of sustainable behavior in a North American convenience sample. Finally, I document links between personality traits and aspects to different kinds of sustainability attitudes in two samples from North America and one sample from the UK. I discuss how this work builds upon recent studies that established the connection between personality and environment and describe implications for future work in this area. I also elaborate how this kind of work can both help us understand the influence of context on personality and also the role personality and personality science can play in limiting the negative effects of climate change. 

Flyer (PDF, 663 KB)