Sustainable Consumption: The Psychology of Individual Choice, Identity, and Behavior

Matthew B. Ruby*, Iain Walker, Hanne M. Watkins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    The global human community is facing an increasingly urgent dilemma: How do we improve standards of living while lessening our impact on the environment? This special issue presents recent contributions from both psychological and interdisciplinary research on sustainable consumption. To situate these articles in a broader context, we first establish the necessity of improving sustainable consumption and discuss some of the foundational psychological work addressing this issue. Second, we outline how sustainability can be addressed at various stages, from production and marketing to consumption and waste. Third, we stress the need to broaden the focus on individual consumption to include collective action. Fourth, we discuss a number of critiques of past research on sustainable consumption. Finally, we highlight the importance of interdisciplinary research in supporting sustainable development. These themes are all addressed in greater depth by each of the contributions to the special issue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-18
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Social Issues
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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