A more dynamic understanding of human behaviour for the Anthropocene

Caroline Schill, John M. Anderies, Therese Lindahl, Carl Folke, Stephen Polasky, Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Anne Sophie Crépin, Marco A. Janssen, Jon Norberg, Maja Schlüter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human behaviour is of profound significance in shaping pathways towards sustainability. Yet, the approach to understanding human behaviour in many fields remains reliant on overly simplistic models. For a better understanding of the interface between human behaviour and sustainability, we take work in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology as a starting point, but argue for an expansion of this work by adopting a more dynamic and systemic understanding of human behaviour, that is, as part of complex adaptive systems. A complex adaptive systems approach allows us to capture behaviour as ‘enculturated’ and ‘enearthed’, co-evolving with socio–cultural and biophysical contexts. Connecting human behaviour and context through a complex adaptive systems lens is critical to inform environmental governance and management for sustainability, and ultimately to better understand the dynamics of the Anthropocene itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Sustainability
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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    Schill, C., Anderies, J. M., Lindahl, T., Folke, C., Polasky, S., Cárdenas, J. C., Crépin, A. S., Janssen, M. A., Norberg, J., & Schlüter, M. (Accepted/In press). A more dynamic understanding of human behaviour for the Anthropocene. Nature Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-019-0419-7