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PSY435 Nov 6.docx

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Dan Dolderman

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PSY435 Nov. 6 Readings
1. Towards ecological self: Deep ecology meets constructionist self-theory
A woman writes: “I am soil, water, air, sun, etc.” – Deep ecologists would say she
is experiencing her ecological self
Ecological self: crucial for changing our indi and collective relationships with the
natural world and behaving in env. Responsible way. Env. Psychologists are
interested in addressing he enc. Crisis through changing peoples behavior
initially env. Movements were thought of as a political nuisance
surrounding society and culture changes, psych theories (incl. those of self)
change with it
worldview – peoples understanding of the world ‘out there .. Important for
engaging in env. Responsible behavior
ppl who identify as a ‘green consumer’/’someone who is very concerned with
green issues sig. predictor of behavioral intentions for env. Vs. ppl who
identified themselves as environmentalists, was NOT ass. With env
knowledge/willingness to alter behave to deal with env problems
Deep ecology social movement, being involved in env and political activism,
connect with lifestyles/practices that connect ppl more deeply with env. And inl.
Intrinsic values that are phenomenological (rather than moral) .. how we
experience the world
Shallow environmentalism: look at specific env problems and explore
technological solutions vs. deep ecological perspective also examines and tries to
change underlying value systems and worldviews that are the ultimate cause of
the external env crisis
Ecological self: embraced in deep ecology, this self embraces an
expansive/transpersonal sense of self, a sense of self that extends beyond ones
egoic, biographic or personal sense of self… interests of anther being are reacted
to as our own interests (Reactions incl. emotions, perceptions, physical behaviors)
Ex. death of flea, jumped into chemicals, felt compassion/empathy, but not
basic… he say himself in it. If he was alienated then he wouldn’t have been
affected … suggests empathy/feeling with is a function of identification
1) Ecological self is a wide, expansive or field-like sense of self, which ultimately includes all life-forms, ecosystems
and the Earth itself.
(2) Experiences of ecological self involve:
(a) an emotional resonance with other life-forms;
(b) a perception of being similar, related to, or identical with other life-forms;
(c) spontaneously behaving towards the ecosphere as one would towards one’s small self (with nurture and
(3) It is possible to expand one’s sense of self from the personal to the ecological.
Spontaneous emotional responses actively create an expanded sense of self. –
emotionally the boundaries b/w self and other are dissolved.
Indis may phenomenologically become another being- experiencing reality
through the senses of that other being … empathy- taking the role of the other,
viewing the world as he/she sees it and experiencing his or her feelings
Identification based on cosmology we and all entities are aspects of a single
unfolding reality
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