Towards a Psychology of the Food-Energy-Water Nexus: Costs and Opportunities

Stacia J. Dreyer, Tim Kurz, Annayah M.B. Prosser, Abigail Abrash Walton, Kelley Dennings, Ilona McNeill, Deborah A. Saber, Janet K. Swim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Scholars, government scientific research institutions, and public policy-making entities are increasingly focusing on environmental issues from a food-energy-water (FEW) nexus perspective. This nexus represents the interconnection of these three systems, which are essential to human life. The FEW nexus is inherently and inescapably interdisciplinary. However, to date, there have been relatively few academic contributions to understanding the nexus from the social sciences, particularly from psychology. In this article, we suggest an extended framing of the nexus (food-energy-water x human) to explicitly recognize how human actions in the form of both consumption practices and population size and distribution impact the FEW nexus. We outline important contributions that psychology researchers could make in FEW nexus focused research teams. In doing so, we acknowledge difficulties and potential risks for psychology researchers engaging in FEW nexus based research, but suggest that, while such difficulties can create barriers, they can also present opportunities for psychologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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