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Compare and contrast two psychological concepts, theories or models which could be used to address issues related to climate change. Discuss their strengths and limitations in addressing the psychological aspects of climate change.



1. Identify your concepts, theories or models, and make sure you understand them
Your first task is to identify which concepts, theories or models you want to compare and contrast. A good place to start is Weeks 26 and 27, as these have the most specific discussion of climate change. Remember that you are not only looking for studies directly about climate change. You also want to think about more general psychological research that tells you something about the psychological processes which could be important in addressing climate problems. You might want to think here about attitudes and persuasion, group psychology, social identity, emotion, attention or other processes.

What do you think is important, psychologically, in addressing climate change?

Why is it proving such a hard problem for people to solve, and what have you learned about in this module which could help to address these issues?

One issue to consider is that you will have to be able to meaningfully compare your different concepts, theories or models. This means that you will want to make sure that they are not too similar to each other. It might be a good idea to pick material from different areas of psychology (e.g. social, cognitive, developmental) or one from psychology and one from counselling, if appropriate. This will give you more to talk about in your essay.
You also need to be able to assess the strength of the research, so be sure to pick something where the evidence behind the concept, theory or model is discussed in the module material. Something interesting may be briefly mentioned in a chapter, but this will not give you enough material to write about it meaningfully. So, it is a good idea to look at materials which have been described in reasonable detail.
Once you have identified your concepts, theories or models, read the material carefully and make sure you are clear on what the authors are saying.


2. Identify similarities and differences
Once you have identified your material, you will then need to make a note of the similarities and differences between the concepts, models or theories. You may want to make a table or mind map where you note down what is similar and different about the two approaches.
Make sure that your similarities and differences are things which might make a meaningful difference as an approach to addressing the psychology of climate change. To do this, you need to identify how the material you have picked could help to address climate change: what is the psychological problem it could address, and how would it do this? Does the other material you have picked address the same psychological problem or a different one?
Perhaps you have chosen one concept, theory or model which could be used to address people’s emotional responses to climate change, and another one that could shift their identity, for instance. Perhaps, so far, you have only picked concepts which could all be used to persuade people to adopt more sustainable behaviour. Think carefully when choosing which concepts, theories or models to write about.
You might also want to identify differences in how the research you have identified has been conducted or where the research has been done. These kinds of technical differences or similarities are not enough on their own. You also need to think about the impact these have on the kinds of theories and evidence the researchers have produced.


3. Identify strengths and limitations
You also need to identify the strengths and limitations of each of the concepts, models or theories you have picked. This is a similar process to the previous step, and you might also want to create a table or a mind map here.
When you are looking at strengths and limitations, you should similarly look for both conceptual and methodological strengths. Ask yourself how well justified the claims are in the studies you have looked at and what the evidence is to support them. You should also think more generally what do you think is missing from the way that authors have thought about climate change and what kinds of psychological responses might help?
Remember that in a compare and contrast essay, you are being asked to weigh up the different concepts, theories and models you have chosen. So, you should consider what you think would be the most effective to help address climate change. This isn’t necessarily a competition it may be that you think some elements of each of the concepts, theories or models that you introduce have merit, and could be combined to create a better approach to addressing climate change.

Original post by katiepearce27
Compare and contrast two psychological concepts, theories or models which could be used to address issues related to climate change. Discuss their strengths and limitations in addressing the psychological aspects of climate change.



1. Identify your concepts, theories or models, and make sure you understand them
Your first task is to identify which concepts, theories or models you want to compare and contrast. A good place to start is Weeks 26 and 27, as these have the most specific discussion of climate change. Remember that you are not only looking for studies directly about climate change. You also want to think about more general psychological research that tells you something about the psychological processes which could be important in addressing climate problems. You might want to think here about attitudes and persuasion, group psychology, social identity, emotion, attention or other processes.

What do you think is important, psychologically, in addressing climate change?

Why is it proving such a hard problem for people to solve, and what have you learned about in this module which could help to address these issues?

One issue to consider is that you will have to be able to meaningfully compare your different concepts, theories or models. This means that you will want to make sure that they are not too similar to each other. It might be a good idea to pick material from different areas of psychology (e.g. social, cognitive, developmental) or one from psychology and one from counselling, if appropriate. This will give you more to talk about in your essay.
You also need to be able to assess the strength of the research, so be sure to pick something where the evidence behind the concept, theory or model is discussed in the module material. Something interesting may be briefly mentioned in a chapter, but this will not give you enough material to write about it meaningfully. So, it is a good idea to look at materials which have been described in reasonable detail.
Once you have identified your concepts, theories or models, read the material carefully and make sure you are clear on what the authors are saying.


2. Identify similarities and differences
Once you have identified your material, you will then need to make a note of the similarities and differences between the concepts, models or theories. You may want to make a table or mind map where you note down what is similar and different about the two approaches.
Make sure that your similarities and differences are things which might make a meaningful difference as an approach to addressing the psychology of climate change. To do this, you need to identify how the material you have picked could help to address climate change: what is the psychological problem it could address, and how would it do this? Does the other material you have picked address the same psychological problem or a different one?
Perhaps you have chosen one concept, theory or model which could be used to address people’s emotional responses to climate change, and another one that could shift their identity, for instance. Perhaps, so far, you have only picked concepts which could all be used to persuade people to adopt more sustainable behaviour. Think carefully when choosing which concepts, theories or models to write about.
You might also want to identify differences in how the research you have identified has been conducted or where the research has been done. These kinds of technical differences or similarities are not enough on their own. You also need to think about the impact these have on the kinds of theories and evidence the researchers have produced.


3. Identify strengths and limitations
You also need to identify the strengths and limitations of each of the concepts, models or theories you have picked. This is a similar process to the previous step, and you might also want to create a table or a mind map here.
When you are looking at strengths and limitations, you should similarly look for both conceptual and methodological strengths. Ask yourself how well justified the claims are in the studies you have looked at and what the evidence is to support them. You should also think more generally what do you think is missing from the way that authors have thought about climate change and what kinds of psychological responses might help?
Remember that in a compare and contrast essay, you are being asked to weigh up the different concepts, theories and models you have chosen. So, you should consider what you think would be the most effective to help address climate change. This isn’t necessarily a competition it may be that you think some elements of each of the concepts, theories or models that you introduce have merit, and could be combined to create a better approach to addressing climate change.


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