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Environmental psychology and the geographies of ethical and sustainable consumption: aligning, triangulating, challenging?

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Human geographers’ research into lay responses to burgeoning environmental issues has highlighted their mediated and contingent constitution. Situated within the discipline's cultural turn, this work has challenged prevailing informational and cognitive approaches to sustainability. In doing so, however, potentially informative concepts and findings from environmental psychology have been sidelined. In this paper I attempt a modest allying of the two sub-disciplines, outlining their differences and similarities, and arguing that environmental psychology can triangulate with human geography, as well as challenge tendencies within human geography literatures to simplify the ‘psychological’ subject.

Keywords: consumption; environmental psychology; environmental responsibility; triangulation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Human Geography, The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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