Psychology and the U.N. Development Goals

Before the end of 2015, the leaders of the world’s nations will attend two major summits. Their task is nothing less than to change the course of history.

This week in New York, the U.N. post-2015 Development Summit seeks to agree a set of goals that together aim to create a more peaceful and equal world by 2030. Then, in December, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference will aim to reach a legally binding agreement on climate, with the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C.

A discussion of human psychology, however, will be largely absent from both of these crucial meetings. Laudable as current international efforts are, they are unfortunately doomed to failure if they do not pay more attention to some unpalatable facts about the psychology of our species.    Continue reading

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