Susan Clayton

Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology, College of Wooster

Susan Clayton considers herself a conservation psychologist: interested in understanding and promoting a healthy relationship between humans and nature. She is the Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology and chair of Environmental Studies at the College of Wooster. She has authored or edited five books, including the Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology (2012), Conservation Psychology (with Gene Myers), and Identity and the Natural Environment (2003, with Susan Opotow). She co-authored the American Psychological Association (APA) reports on “Psychology and Global Climate Change” and “Psychological Impacts of Climate Change.”

Clayton currently focuses on the implications of climate change for psychological wellbeing. She developed an Environmental Identity (EID) Scale to assess the degree to which the natural environment plays an important part in the way in which people think about themselves, which is being tested in multiple countries.

Clayton is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, of which she is also president-elect. Her PhD, in social psychology, is from Yale University.

Live Event Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearances

COVID-19 and Climate: Human Response

Mar 24 2020 - 1:00pm

How do human beings respond to invisible threats like the coronavirus and carbon pollution? One threat is personal, direct, and close – touch an infected surface or talk too close to someone and you could be deathly sick in a matter of days. The other is impersonal, indirect, and far away– driving your car contributes in some tiny way to future melting glaciers, rising seas, and scorching heat waves. And yet responding to both requires a similar shift in mindset and behavior.