“All of us – researchers, practitioners and activists – are all looking for what it means to meet the call for transformative change. If we can bring in developmental psychology as one of the knowledge sets, I think we’re going to have some really exciting times ahead.” – Gail Hochachka

Can developmental psychology help us respond more effectively to climate change? My guests, Terri O’Fallon and Gail Hochachka, say yes. In this episode, we discuss Gail’s Ph.D. project at the University of Oslo, where she has utilized Terri’s STAGES model to gain insight into how people at various developmental stages make meaning about climate change.

Her findings, using data drawn from populations in El Salvador and Guatemala, show how multiple levels of meaning appear within the traditional, modern and postmodern worldviews.

  • Traditional, conformist meanings are concrete, atomistic and related to the present and recent past.
  • Modern, expert and achiever meanings are more abstract, involving cause-and-effect logic, with time extending to the future and past.
  • Postmodern, pluralist meanings demonstrate contextual, network-thinking, and are the most forward and backward-looking in time.

Gail’s findings were published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal Global Environmental Change, and have gained significant positive attention. You can read the article here.

In this episode, we also hear from Terri about how climate change is viewed at the integral stages of Teal and Turquoise. I hope you will be inspired, as I was, to learn how these two pioneering women are creating a new “basic science” of understanding perspectives that will help humanity adapt and indeed transform in response to our climate challenge.

Terri O’Fallon is the creator of the STAGES model of human development. She is leading a new web course, Frontiers of Consciousness, focused on developing the four higher stages of human awareness. If you’re interested, use coupon code frn19-jsde46 to save $75. Also, Terri talks about her STAGES model on this previous Daily Evolver episode.

Gail Hochachka, co-founder of Integral Without Borders, has over 15 years of experience applying an integral approach to sustainable global development. She and her partners are offering a new online course in Spanish, “Diseño de Proyectos Integrales para la Transformación Social” (DPI) or “Integral Project Design for Social Transformation.” The University of Oslo research project that Gail is involved in can be found here.