Ian Presents at Decision Sciences Collaborative

Graduate team member Ian Adams presented his poster on Carbon Footprint Feedback Framing Influences the Cognitive and Emotional Pathways to Pro-Environmental Behavior at the Decision Science Collaborative’s sixth annual research forum on March 26th. Congrats Ian, we are lucky to have you on our team!

Byrd Center Symposium

On March 22nd, two of our students presented their research at Ohio State’s Byrd Center Symposium. This event centers around all facets of climate change research. Vicky presented her poster, How I see myself behind the wheel: Effects of symbolic attributes, social identity, and social norms on EV adoption, and Sophie presented her poster as well, titled Gender Difference in Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Carbon Footprint Feedback Response. Congrats to both Vicky and Sophie on a very successful poster session! See Vicky below 🙂

Yoga Mini Retreat! (3/23)

The team recently enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon yoga session at The Art of Yoga in Franklinton. Thanks to Nicole for organizing a great retreat—it was a perfect mid-semester stress reliever. Here is the team showing off our yoga skills with the much-fitting “tree” pose. 

Welcome to the research team, Conor!

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Conor Lovell! Conor is a second-year undergraduate student in the Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability program. He hopes to expand his knowledge on the concept of sustainability through research experiences. In his free time, Conor enjoys reading, playing video games or poker with friends, spending time outdoors, or watching movies.

Welcome to the team, Renna!

We would like to welcome Renna Wittum, a fourth year undergraduate studying Environmental Science with a focus in Ecosystem Restoration and a minor in English. She has been involved in several projects in the Terrestrial Wildlife and Ecology Lab including research studying salamander responses to environmental conditions, Whip-poor-will migratory patterns, and invasive honeysuckle as habitats in the Columbus Metro Parks. She also completed an undergraduate research project on the Influence of Environment and Invertebrates on Pool Breeding Amphibians. In her free time Renna enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, playing piano and trumpet, playing with dogs, traveling, and eating ice cream.

Sophie Manaster to Present at the Denman Forum


Congratulations to Undergraduate RA Sophie Manaster on her acceptance to the 2019 Denman Research Forum! Sophie will be presenting her research regarding gender differences in pro-environmental behaviors at the forum on Wednesday, February 20th from 12-5pm. We are very proud of all your hard work, Sophie!

Study: Decisions to stay in energy-conservation programs hinge on perception, not reality

Nicole and Lee recently published a study on individuals’ perception of savings while participating in energy-conservation programs. The program in question is based on a time-of-use (TOU) rate structure, which is designed to shift electricity use from times with high demand and high costs, to times with low demand and low cost. Interestingly, their study found that, most often, the savings that followed due to participants’ conscious energy use was minimal at best. Participants’ perceptions of the savings were driving their involvement in such programs, not the actual savings. Additionally, their study found that people who were more informed about the TOU rate structure were less likely to stay in the program. This could mean that, while these programs are effective, the divide between perceived savings and actual savings could inhibit programs’ true energy conservation goals.


Full Article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-018-0285-y

OSU Press Release: https://news.osu.edu/utility-customers-overestimate-cost-savings-with-energy-conservation-plans/





Today’s most pressing environmental problems are ultimately the products of human decision-making and behavior. Changing behavior is therefore an essential element in creating a sustainable future for humankind. Our approach to addressing society’s grand challenge of sustainability draws heavily upon psychology and integrates methodologies and perspectives from an array of other disciplines. Our research focuses on:

  1. Understanding and modeling decision-making that impacts environmental quality
  2. Developing and evaluating interventions to encourage pro-environmental behavior change
  3. Elucidating the underlying mechanisms of behavior change, including cognitive biases and social influence

Currently we investigate these phenomena as they pertain to:

  • Residential energy use / smart grid
  • Adoption and use of alternative transportation systems and vehicles
  • Adoption and use of sustainable innovations (e.g., solar panels, home energy management technologies)
  • Waste management
  • Wildlife security