Impact of ‘green guilt’ discussed at free lecture

What is “green guilt” and how is it promoting environmentally sustainable behavior? Learn more when an associate professor of psychology gives a free lecture on his research at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 

“When is Guilt Actually Good for the Environment?” will be presented by Mark Ferguson at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. Held in the Pinery Room of the Portage County Library, 1001 Main Street, Stevens Point, it is the sixth of the eight-part 2013-14 Community Lecture Series sponsored by the College of Letters and Science at UW-Stevens Point.

“People commonly think that feeling guilty about one’s own behavior promotes better choices in the future. Although this can happen, we suspect that feeling guilty about others’ behavior might work better,” said Ferguson.  “Consider climate change. Although my carbon emissions might seem insignificant, our emissions as a state or nation might have more of an emotional impact on us. We find that feeling guilty about our collective behavior, rather than my individual behavior, is more effective at encouraging sustainable choices.” 

Ferguson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University and his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Kansas.  He teaches courses in introductory psychology, social psychology, environmental psychology and advanced research methods in psychology. His research examines the role of group identity and group-based emotion in promoting environmentally sustainable behavior.

The entire College of Letters and Science Community Lecture Series schedule and previously recorded videos may be viewed at



Article Tags