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CODE 98200
SEMESTER 1° Semester


Environmental psychology is the branch of psychology that has developed since the 1950s with the aim of studying the psychological and behavioral processes of people in relation to the characteristics of the environment. Recently, a field of studies called Environmental Psychology of Sustainable Development (or Environmental Sustainability Psychology) has been developed, which underlines with the terms sustainable development and sustainability the type of contents and thematic interests.



The course focuses on the individual-environment relationship in a psychosocial perspective and through the environmental psychology. The environmental psychology aims to study the psychological processes, human behavior and people’s well-being in relation with physical and socio-physical environmental features. The human dimension of the environmental processes stimulated scholars to fully analyze and comprehend the psychological processes involved in ecosystem phenomena, with a special focus on the cognitive, affective and motivational dimension. Throughout the course, the most important topics of the environmental psychology will be analyzed by referring to the recent field of research called environmental psychology of the sustainability, which aims to examine in depth topics and thematic interests tightly linked with projects of sustainable development and with the promotion of places, area and local communities through a sustainable lens. The course intends to enhance students’ knowledges about theoretical foundations, methods and techniques that characterize the environmental psychology and sustainable development. The enactment of these knowledges will be especially functional to achieve an optimal environmental management, organization and planning.


The course intends to deepen and investigate the main themes of environmental psychology and sustainability. In the light of the most important theoretical contributions in the literature, the salient aspects of the individual-environment relationship will be analyzed in order to understand their resources and potential. Furthermore, the course aims to provide skills both for the understanding of the main psychological processes that guide human behaviors for the sustainable use of natural resources, and for the activation of knowledge for environmental management and planning.

At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • know and identify the main constructs in the study of environmental psychology and sustainability,
  • critically analyze ecological behavior and identify possible investigation strategies
  • analyze the main psychocological-social models used in the study of ecological behavior
  • identify possible psychological determinants of ecological behavior
  • design an intervention track to promote behaviors and projects in the field of environmental sustainability



The course will alternate lectures with working groups. Group activities can be also arranged to promote active learning. 


The course is divided into two parts: the first deals with the theoretical foundations and the main constructs for the study and research in the field of environmental psychology of sustainability; the second examines the main processes involved in the analysis and planning of the promotion of behaviors and responses relevant to the sustainable use of natural resources present in living environments.



Steg L., Van Den Berg, A. & De Groot, J. (2013). Enviromental Psychology: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing

Bonnes M., Carrus G., & Passafaro P. (a cura di) (2006). Psicologia ambientale, sostenibilità e comportamenti ecologici. Carocci, Roma.

Two scientific papers or book chapters selected by the students among these ones:

Bonnes, M. (2005). Dalla psicologia del turismo alla psicologia ambientale dell'eco-turismo, passando per la sostenibilità e la bio-diversità. In G. Sangiorgi (a cura di ), Turista e turismi. Contributi psicologici allo sviluppo del settore (pp. 209-229). Cagliari: CUEC .

Nenci A.M. (2005). Ambienti turistici e benessere. Le possibilità rigenerative dei luoghi. In G. Sangiorgi (a cura di), Turista e turismi. Contributi psicologici allo sviluppo del settore (pp. 31-42). Cagliari: CUEC.

Clayton S.D. (2012) The oxford Handbook of Enviromnetal and conservation psychology, Oxford Handbooks Online.




Fist week of October



The knowledge acquired will be assessed through an oral exam on the contents of the program. Through this mode, we will verify the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired by the student, the critical look in relation to the main constructs addressed and the ability to translate them in the contexts.

For attending students there is the possibility to design an intervention, according to the modalities presented in class, in the 'environmental psychology of sustainable development, which will be the subject of the oral exam.


The students during the oral exam will be able to demonstrate to possess adequate knowledge of the main theories and constructs in the field of environmental psychology of sustainability and to be able to apply the knowledge acquired for the realization of interventions.  Students can demonstrate the acquisition of the technical language typical of the discipline to be able to communicate clearly with interlocutors specialists and non-specialists.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
10/01/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
10/01/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
24/01/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
24/01/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
07/02/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
22/05/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
22/05/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
05/06/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
05/06/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
19/06/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
19/06/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione
09/07/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
04/09/2024 11:00 GENOVA Orale
04/09/2024 11:00 GENOVA registrazione


Students with DSA certification, disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and examination methods that, in compliance with the objectives of the course, take into account individual learning patterns and provide appropriate compensatory tools.


Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Good health and well being
Good health and well being
Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable cities and communities