Climate change impact on mental health: psychological analysis

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Head of the laboratory of social and economic psychology
Affiliation: Institute of Psychology RAS
Address: Moscow, Yaroslavskaya St., 13
Occupation: scientific supervisor of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute of Psychology RAS
Address: Russian Federation
Journal namePsikhologicheskii zhurnal
EditionVolume 41 issue 5

The article presents an analysis of the psychological consequences of climate change, based on domestic and foreign studies. The state of research in this area is assessed. Three main groups of psychological consequences of climate change for Russian society were identified: firstly, increased anxiety about the future, distress due to the consequences of natural disasters, and nostalgia and depression about the loss of the familiar environment; secondly, changes in cognitive and affective processes associated with the direct or indirect impact of adverse geophysical factors, including a decrease in cognitive abilities, neurodegenerative diseases, increased impulsiveness and aggressiveness of behavior under the influence of high temperatures, air pollution, etc.; thirdly, an aggravation of the experience of injustice, a further decline in trust to other social groups and social institutions, an increase in commitment to conservative values, exposure to populism, and support for authoritarian politicians. Some quantitative indicators are proposed for assessing the psychological effects of climate change. Promising areas of interdisciplinary research are outlined.

Keywordsclimate change, psychology, macro-psychological state of society, environmental depressions, trust, interethnic relations, neurological diseases
AcknowledgmentThis article was prepared with the support by RSF grant №18-18-00439
Publication date13.09.2020
Number of characters25792
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