BSPL

Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL)

The Behavioral Science for Policy Lab cuts across three academic units at Princeton University: (a.) the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment within the School of Engineering, (b.) the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Center within the School of Public and International Affairs, and (c.) the Department of Psychology. PhD students, postdocs, and undergraduate researchers come from all three groups and also include international visitors. The physical location of the BSPL is in the Andlinger Center.

The BSPL mission is to put Weber’s previous research insights about the full range of human motivation and human decisions processes into a broader context, looking at decision makers who are imbedded in social networks and their physical and social environment, who receive information and cues from those sources as well as feedback from the effect their decisions have on their environment.

Interconnection and cross-talk and fertilization between models of human decision making and social network models and complex adaptive systems modeling.

Kris Nichols

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Lab Manager

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Kris is the Lab Manager of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. He received a M.A. in the Social Sciences with a focus in Computational Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2018 and a BA in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2017. Previously, he worked as a research assistant and lab manager at Harvard University.

Kris is interested in pursuing a PhD in the behavioral sciences and is particularly interested in investigating the effects of social and physical context (e.g., weather) on climate change attitudes using computational approaches. His specific research interests include media portrayal of climate change, motivated cognition, political polarization, and climate change risk perception.

Holly Caggiano

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Postdoctoral Researcher

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Holly is a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment researching pathways to broad public support for utility-scale renewable energy projects across the US. Her work explores the formation of local and regional stakeholder coalitions and the narratives they form around a clean energy transition in relation to economic revitalization, labor organization, and notions of procedural and distributional justice.

Drawing on her interdisciplinary social science background, Holly is interested in how different actors define and envision a ‘just transition’, working to identify policy frameworks that enable rapid, equitable decarbonization.

Holly earned her Ph.D. from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, where her dissertation research explored social-behavioral drivers of household resource

Jordana Composto

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Ph.D Student

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Jordana is currently an incoming PhD student in the Psychology Department at Princeton University.

Her research interests include environmental decision making, social norms, corporate and organizational behavior, social change, and computer-mediated communication. With BSPL, Jordana is studying corporate action of climate change and social norm mechanisms.

Prior to joining Princeton, Jordana was a Business Consultant in the finance and consumer industries; her work focused on customer analytics and technology. She was also a Research Coordinator and Data Scientist with the Mindell Lab at Saint Joseph’s University, where she worked on a range of topics related to adult and baby sleep behavior. Jordana receive her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in Quantitative Social Science and Environmental Economics.

Jeff Lees

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Postdoctoral Researcher

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Jeff Lees is an Associate Research Scholar in the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. He researches the psychology of inaccurate beliefs and their consequences for political, organizational, and social life. His past work has developed interventions for combating false polarization across the globe, examined the role ideology play in driving belief in misinformation, and advanced methodological and statistical techniques for measuring belief (in)accuracy. As a member of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Jeff researches how (mis)perceptions of social norms and the true attitudes of others contributes to climate inaction, and how we can leverage our psychological understanding of such misperceptions to engender greater collective action on climate change.

Jeff completed his PhD in organizational behavior and social psychology at Harvard University in 2020, and prior to joining the BSPL was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub. He is also a Fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy, & Politics, where he collaborates on research to combat anti-democracy misinformation.

Contact: jeffrey.m.lees@gmail.com
Personal Website: https://www.jeffreymlees.com

Rohini Majumdar

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Ph.D. Student

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Rohini is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at Princeton University.

Her research interests lie in the field of behavioral economics, with her past work focusing on judgment and decision-making processes in health contexts. Currently at BSPL, she is working on applying the psychology of social norms to promote sustainable behaviors and curb environmentally damaging trends. Rohini is also largely interested in studying motivation, goal pursuit, and closing attitude-behavior gaps in various contexts.

Prior to joining Princeton, Rohini received her B.S. degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she double-majored in Cognitive Science and Economics.

Personal Website: www.rohinimajumdar.com

Pooja Ramamurthi

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Ph.D. Student

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Pooja Vijay Ramamurthi is a Ph.D. student at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her research is within the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program.  

She is interested in understanding individual and community decision-making processes focused on the energy and environment. Through her work, she plans to use behavioral science to formulate policies to hasten the creation of sustainable, affordable and reliable energy pathways in developing countries. 

Prior to coming to Princeton, she worked at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) in India. She holds a double Masters degree in Sustainable Energy from the Royal institute of Technology, Sweden and Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal on a European Commission scholarship.

Contact: pvr@exchange.Princeton.edu

Matthew R. Sisco

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Postdoctoral Researcher

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Matthew Sisco is a postdoctoral scientist at the BSPL. His interests are at the intersection of behavioral science, data science, and environmental problems. Matthew works on developing data science methods for use in behavioral science, and applies these methods to studying behavioral aspects of environmental problems.

Contact: ms1548@princeton.edu

Gregg Sparkman

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Postdoctoral Researcher

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Gregg Sparkman is a postdoctoral research associate in the Andlinger Center at Princeton University. His research is focused on understanding social change, including the causes and consequences of norms shifting over time. He completed his PhD at Stanford University in social psychology, where he investigated how people are influenced by witnessing social change and how this can be incorporated into interventions in social, environmental, and political domains. Collaborating with non-profit, public, and private organizations, he uses national surveys and field studies to develop and assess social psychological interventions to meet social and environmental goals.

Contact: greggrs@princeton.edu

Personal Website: greggrs.mycpanel.princeton.edu

Melissa Tier

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Ph.D. student

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Melissa is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Science, Technology, & Environmental Policy cluster at the School of Public & International Affairs. She focuses on climate policy and behavior, with particular interests in interactions between scales of government and individual decision-making in response to local environmental policies. She is interested in tying these theoretical topics to applied research on coastal resilience, managed retreat, and building/transportation infrastructure in the context of emergency preparedness.

Prior to joining the Princeton community, Melissa worked for 5 years as the first Sustainability Program Manager in the Office of Sustainability at Swarthmore College, where she developed innovative programs related to the climate crisis, zero waste, and environmental justice. During this time, she also completed a part-time MSc in Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Oxford. Her master’s thesis applied urban governance theories to strategic risk planning for sustainability, with a case study of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University, and holds a BA in Psychology from Swarthmore.

Contact: mtier@princeton.edu

Eunha Choi

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Eunha Choi is a Research Assistant of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. She was a former Co-Lab Manager/Research Coordinator at BSPL from June 2021 to September 2022.

Eunha graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology from New York University in 2021. Previously, she was a Research Assistant at the Consumer Well-being Lab at the Stern School of Business and Social Perception, Action, and Motivation Lab at NYU, where she examined various social and psychological factors in business, political, and environmental domains.

She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences and Marketing field, particularly in consumer behavior. She is navigating her research topics at the intersection of behavioral science, social psychology, and consumer behavior, focusing on judgment and decision making, motivation, stereotypes, and preferences.

Eunha completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Sogang University in South Korea, and previously worked as an Associate Manager at a retail company before pursuing a graduate program at NYU. By leveraging academic backgrounds and professional experiences, she hopes to explore how behavioral research and studies can make practical approaches to solve real-world questions and eventually develop into real-world policies and solutions.

Contact:eunha.choi.ceh@gmail.com

Jongnam Ahn

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Jongnam is a rising Sophomore at Princeton University dabbling here and there, primarily interested in the intersection of computer science and the social sciences.

Jongnam joined the BSPL to gain a better understanding of how computational tools can be applied in cutting-edge psychology/policy research. At the BSPL, he will be employing text mining to analyze surveys and compare computer-based identifications with human-based ones.

Sana Asifriyaz

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Sana Asifriyaz is a rising sophomore at Princeton University. She intends to major in Psychology and earn a certificate in South Asian Studies. One of the phenomena she is interested in studying is the intersection of social psychology and the sociopolitical landscape in India.
At BSPL, Sana is thrilled to learn more about the rhetoric of climate change agendas and the way in which the public and private sectors perceive them. She intends to work as a data analyst on projects that seek to understand the impact of climate change coalitions’ agendas on companies partnering with these coalitions, particularly in terms of their decision-making.

Lindsay Blanton

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Lindsay is a master’s student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Behavioral and Decision Sciences. Before graduate school, Lindsay studied Brain and Cognitive Science and Water Sustainability at the University of Rochester and worked for many years in the environmental non-profit sector on watershed education and community outreach. Combining her passions in cognition and the environment, her work focuses on uncovering the social and psychological factors underpinning environmental actions. After graduating from UPenn in 2022, she will pursue a career developing creative and meaningful ways to spur environmental change using behavioral science tools.

During her time at BSPL, Lindsay aims to learn more about quantitative and qualitative studies of environmental norms. She is particularly interested in the interplay between consumer and corporate sustainability and perceptions of differential responsibility and control. Within the lab, she looks forward to assisting in a meta-analysis of social norms and assisting in designing and conducting studies on social norms and sustainability.

Katherine Brubaker

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Katherine Brubaker is a High Meadows Environmental Institute intern with the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. A rising junior at Princeton University, Katherine is concentrating in the School of Public and International Affairs, with a focus on environmental policy. She is also working towards certificates in French and journalism. Katherine is excited to learn more about the intersection of policy and the environment while working at BSPL.

Zhaoran Chen

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Zhaoran is a rising junior at Princeton University. Zhaoran is an architecture major who is also interested in Environmental Studies. In Zhaoran’s work with the BSPL, Zhaoran hopes to learn from and about the various actors and people who are involved in and affected by decision-making and project-planning, specifically in just transitions to net-zero futures.

Emily Cruz

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Emily is currently a rising Junior studying Civil & Environmental Engineering with certificates in Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, and Urban Studies. She was initially drawn to the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab due to its interdisciplinary approach to global environmental policies.
Previously, Emily has worked on a variety of research projects addressing housing inequality, anthropogenic influences on estuaries, and agrobiodiversity. She hopes to supplement her research in developing sustainable environmental protocols by understanding the behavioral and political mechanisms that ensure the success of these policies.
During her time at BSPL, Emily hopes to gain a better understanding of how to foster support for sustainable environmental initiatives on both the individual and societal levels. She is extremely interested in working to promote the normalization of renewable energies and assisting corporations find economically feasible ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Danielle Goldwert

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Danielle is a recent graduate from the University of Miami (UM) with double majors in Psychology and Studio Art and minors in Political Science, Philosophy, English Literature, and Management. At UM, she completed an honors thesis on the role of individual difference factors in shaping information processing and emotional responses to climate change messaging.

Danielle joined the BSPL due to her passion for conducting psychological research in the public interest, investigating the real-world major social dilemma of climate change. She is especially interested in applied social marketing and the psychology of communication in the context of climate change and sustainability. Within the lab, she currently assists in conducting a meta-analysis of social norms. She ultimately plans to pursue a PhD in social psychology.

Pranati Haldia

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Pranati has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. She pursued her Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Community Organisation and Development Practice from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has previously worked in social sector advisory at Belongg, as well as with NGOs such as Barefoot College, Jagori and Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labour Liberation Front) in India. She has been involved in theater since her college days, and currently represents India in the Eurasia Theater Association. Pranati enjoys learning about themes across the spectrum of social sciences, especially from an intersectional perspective that takes into account different identities and positionalities. She strongly believes in the power of social science and the arts to bring about a nuanced change that is built on the ideals of social justice and compassion.

Through her work at BSPL, she seeks to study the intersection between behavioral science and policymaking.

Saikat Howladar

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Saikat is a senior undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur pursuing a major in Materials Science & Engineering with a minor in Biotechnology. At IITK, he works as a research assistant at Climate and Energy Policy Research Lab, IITK (CERPL) where he had previously worked on mapping discourse coalitions for climate change on Australian media data and that he is currently working on how Natural Language Processing techniques could be employed in climate policy research and contribute to society’s good at large.
As a part of BSPL, he is interested in understanding and illustrating the symbiosis between NLP and climate energy policy on a big dataset through data collection, text analysis and network analysis.

Phillip Jauregui

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Phillip Jauregui is a summer research assistant at the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL). Phil received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College in 2017 and M.A. in psychology from NYU in 2021. Primarily interested in the influence of culture, environment, and public policy on subjective well-being (SWB), Phil aims to Inform and survey public policy so as to augment SWB and substantiate policy reform. At the BPSL, Phil will assist in an ongoing meta-analysis of social norms so that researchers and policymakers may make norm interventions (e.g., encouraging pro-environmental behavior) more effective.

jauregui.phillip@gmail.com

Nicholas Lim

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Nicholas is a rising junior in the School Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He plans on getting a certificate in Environmental Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy. Nicholas is also a member of Princeton’s varsity swim team.

At the BSPL, Nicholas will be working on a project comparing behaviors & policy preferences related to Climate Change & COVID-19 in the United States.

Sneha Roychoudhury

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Sneha has a Master’s degree in History and has previously worked in the offices of Indian Parliamentarians. Her interest in climate change and energy policy is a result of her time as legislative research assistant. She seeks to understand the role of stakeholders in policy making through her work at BSPL.

In her time at BSPL, Sneha seeks to observe and learn patterns of decision making by a number of actors within policy. She is looking forward to enhancing her understanding of processes of state-making while learning multiple methods of research.

Marcus Trenfield

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Marcus Trenfield is an incoming first-year Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department at Boston College. He received his BA in Psychology from Harvard University. Marcus is broadly interested in studying the factors that promote and inhibit cooperative and prosocial behavior, particularly when addressing collective action problems. As a BSPL research assistant, Marcus is eager to assist with a metanalysis exploring the impact of social norms on social change.

Vaidehi Uberoi

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Vaidehi has recently completed her master’s in Behavioral and Decision Sciences at University of Pennsylvania. She is a visiting scholar at Center of Social and Behavior Change, India and a Behavior Research Consultant at Rare. Her work primarily focuses on bringing in development and environmental impact through collective behavior change. Previously, she has worked as a consumer behavior specialist at Kantar India with a focus on rural consumer marketing. She has received her master’s and bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi.

At BSPL, Vaidehi aims to expand her knowledge on quantitative measures and gain practical experience of conducting experiments to apply evidence led approaches to policy and behavior change. She is especially interested in learning more about social norms and collective behavior dynamics and looks forward to assisting in a meta-analysis of social norms and designing and conducting experiments to study nuanced behavioral mechanisms.

Fiona Yang

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Fiona Yang received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Mathematics from Oberlin College in 2022. She has done independent research regarding how social media impact the impression formation of strangers. Her research interests focus on how social media affect people’s attitudes and behaviors. She is currently hoping to study the psychological cause of involvement in cyberbullying.

During her time in BSPL, Fiona seeks to learn more about social norms and decision-making patterns. She is looking forward to being inspired by the variables making social norms more effective and hopes to find the solution to correct people’s misunderstandings of strangers through social media.

Jacopo Bonan

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Visiting Scholar

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Jacopo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering of Politecnico di Milano and Affiliated Scientist at the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE). He is an applied microeconomist and his research interests lie in the intersection between development, environmental and behavioural economics. At BSPL, he studies the role of social norms and behavioural spillovers in resource conservation and pro-social behaviour.

Valentina Bosetti

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Professor at Bocconi University

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Valentina Bosetti is a professor at Bocconi University teaching environmental and climate change economics. She is a research fellow at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change.

Valentina has also been collaborating for Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei from 2003 to 2018. She has been a visiting fellow at the Princeton Environmental Institute in 2009/2010 and she was a Fellow at CASBS at Stanford in 2014/2015.

Valentina was one of the lead authors of the 5th AR IPCC (2014) and she will serve again for the 6th AR. Valentina was president of the Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (IAERE) and council member of the European one (EAERE). She was the PI of a ERC Starting Grant on Innovation and clean technologies (ICARUS) and she currently is PI ERC Starting Grant on Uncertainty and Climate Change (RISICO).

Contact: valentina.bosetti@eiee.org

Sara Constantino

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Visiting Scholar

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Sara’s current research focuses on understanding how social norms affect individual and collective behaviors (especially in environmental contexts) and how this influence might vary depending on several factors, such as the source of norm information or the agency of the individual in determining her institutional context.

A second line of research is aimed at developing a comprehensive decision making framework, which extends beyond rational choice and brings together theories from various disciplines and levels of detail, in order to better characterize decisions in complex ecological contexts.

Previously, she completed a Ph.D. at New York University, where she developed computational models to capture learning and decisions in foraging contexts, characterized by inter temporal tradeoffs and opportunity costs.

Contact: saraconstantino@princeton.edu

Giovanna d’Adda

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Visiting Scholar

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Giovanna is Associate Professor at the University of Milan and head of the research area on Behavioural Science at RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment. Previously, she worked at Milan Polytechnic and the University of Birmingham. She holds a PhD in Economics from Bocconi University, with a thesis on natural resource conservation in developing countries, and an MSc in Development Management from LSE. During her PhD, Giovanna was a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, Paris School of Economics and University of Zurich. Giovanna’s research uses laboratory, survey and field experiments to investigate key drivers of pro-social behavior, such as institutions, norms, and leadership structures. Her recent work has focused on the analysis of the impact of behavioral energy efficiency programs.

Saara Ehlert

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Visiting Student Research Collaborator

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Saara Ehlert is a Visiting Student Research Collaborator from the Radboud University in the Netherlands. Back home, she in the process of finishing her Research Master’s degree in Behavioral Science. Before this, Saara has obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Social and Political Science at the University of Helsinki, with a specialization in Social and Cultural Anthropology.

In her research Saara focuses on social norms and social identity, and the possibility of leveraging these to further pro-environmental decision-making. She is particularly interested in research that can be used to inform policy decisions, and that reaches beyond the borders of WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) countries. As part of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab, Saara will participate in the planning of a cross-cultural panel study regarding social norms and pro-environmental behavior and investigate the relationship between pro-environmental decision-making and personal moral dimensions.

Contact: saara.ehlert@outlook.com

Lukas Fesenfeld

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Visiting Scholar

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Lukas is a senior researcher and lecturer at ETH Zurich and the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern. His main research interests lie in climate policy analysis, political economy, and political psychology. In particular, Lukas is interested in the nexus of climate and food policymaking. He enjoys combining different methodological approaches, such as survey and field experiments, econometrics, discourse network analysis, machine learning, and process tracing. Based on his research, Lukas regularly consults policymakers on policy pathways for climate change mitigation and food system transformation. He is the founder of the non-profit organization NAHhaft–Institute for sustainable food strategies.

Lukas received his PhD at ETH Zurich and holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) with a focus on Political Economy and Policy Analysis. He also studied at the University of Masstricht, the University of Seville, and the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance (Berlin).
At BSPL, he studies the role of feedback effects in accelerating social norm, narrative, and policy change for climate change mitigation and food system transformation.

In his free time, Lukas enjoys playing with his two sons, hiking and dancing tango.

Contact: lukas.fesenfeld@unibe.ch
https://lukasfesenfeld.com/

Renato Frey

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Visiting Scholar

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Renato Frey is a cognitive psychologist studying how people make decisions under risk and uncertainty. In his research, he is particularly interested in the construct of risk preference: How stable is a person’s risk preference across different situations and time? How can we best measure the cognitive processes underlying risk preference and interindividual differences therein? And to what extent is risk preference predictive for how people deal with the daily risks of our modern world?

To answer these questions, Renato uses quantitative methods (psychometric, cognitive, and predictive modeling) and implements both lab experiments and ecological assessments. Renato received his PhD from the University of Basel (Switzerland), spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and now is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Cognitive and Decision Sciences (University of Basel) and a Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione fellow. He is currently spending six months as a visiting scholar at Princeton University.

Contact: rfrey@princeton.edu
http://renatofrey.net

Chris Greig

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Researcher

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Chris Greig, is the Theodora D. and William H. Walton III Senior Research Scientist at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). His academic career follows almost 3 decades in industry initially as a company founder and then at senior executive roles across the energy and resources sectors on 4 continents. His research intersects engineering, business, and social sciences to bridge the gap between energy scenarios and real-world execution. He co-led Princeton’s influential Net-Zero America (2021) study and is currently co-leading similar efforts in Australia, and Asia.

Rohit Gupta

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Ph.D Candidate

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Rohit grew up in India and graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with a major in electrical engineering. After briefly working in different technology based research roles, he felt his calling lay in public services. He was selected as an Indian Administrative Services officer in 2006. He has worked as the district magistrate, which is the head of District Government in India, in six different districts. As the district magistrate, he was responsible for direct supervision of more than twenty government departments, maintaining law and order in the jurisdiction, and coordinating with multiple agencies to ensure the holistic development of district. He passionately believes in promoting and executing policies that protect the environment along with economic development. While studying for MPP program at Princeton in 2019, he rediscovered his passion for research and scholarship. He hopes to continue his journey of developing skills for contributing towards a sustainable future with the STEP PhD program at the institute. His research is focused on understanding the motivations of different stakeholders in the Indian electicity sector, and leveraging this knowledge for devising policies that can help in faster decarbonization of the sector.

Stephanie Mertens

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Ph.D. Candidate

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Stephanie Mertens is a doctoral student in the Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her research focuses on the behavioral aspects of sustainability and investigates the psychological determinants of purchasing decisions in the energy domain. Specifically, her work examines how varying expressions or translations of energy consumption can enhance decision making on a cognitive and behavioral level.

At BSPL, Stephanie investigates the effects of attribute translations and other choice architectural interventions on decision making across different consumer groups and population segments. This comparative research aims to identify individual differences in responsiveness to interventions and to provide clear recommendations for the development and implementation of energy policies.

Prior to her doctoral studies at the University of Geneva, Stephanie received a B.Sc. in psychology from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and a M.Sc. in social and cognitive psychology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Contact: stephanie.mertens@unige.ch

Ria Mukerji

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Ph.D Student

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Ria Mukerji is a PhD student in the department of geography at the University of New Mexico (UNM). She received her bachelors in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her masters in geography from the department of geography and anthropology at Louisiana State University (LSU) (Geaux Tigers!).
Mukerji’s work focuses on the political ecology of hazards. At LSU she focused on the paradoxes between safe vs. economic development when it comes to floodplain management, focusing on the devastating floods of 2016 in Louisiana. At UNM she is working on a comparative study between headwater dependent mountain river systems in northern New Mexico and Latin America. She is interested in the intersection of risk and hazard perception and indigeneity.

Silvia Pianta

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Ph.D. Candidate

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Silvia is a PhD student in Public Policy and Administration at Bocconi University and Junior Research Fellow at the IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy of Bocconi University.
She investigates individual perception and decision-making in the context of climate change and environmental issues, applying both quantitative and qualitative methods.

In 2018 she is visiting Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At BSPL she intends to apply behavioural perspectives to understand how social norms shape environmental decisions and behaviour.

Contact: silvia.pianta@phd.unibocconi.it

Adrian L. Rinscheid

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Dr. des.

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Trained in Political Science (University Konstanz/Germany, University St.Gallen/Switzerland), Adrian focuses in his research on business’s and citizens’ roles in energy and climate politics. Specifically, his work investigates how firms and business associations shape citizens’ views on energy and the climate, and how they influence the outcomes of policy processes.

Adrian’s prior research has capitalized on direct democratic votes to study the complexity of preference construction in a real world setting. At BSPL, he applies experimental methods to gain a deeper understanding of the psychological underpinnings of social norm perceptions.

Contact: adrian.rinscheid@unisg.ch

Maja Schlüter

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Professor at Stockholm University

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Maja Schlüter is an associated professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden, where she leads the SES-LINK group that is based on the ERC starting grant SESLINK and the ERC consolidator grant MuSES. Maja’s research focuses on the dynamics of social-ecological systems, particularly how feedbacks between human action and ecological consequences can lead to (un)sustainable social and ecological outcomes. Maja is particularly interested in how the diversity of human motivations and behavior, e.g. of resource users or political actors, impacts sustainability and resilience of human-environment systems. She combines agent-based modeling with empirical and experimental research to identify social-ecological mechanisms that may explain phenomena such as fishery collapse, poverty traps or policy adaptation to environmental change. 
Prior to her position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Maja has worked at the UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig/Halle, in the lab of Simon Levin at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and the Leibniz Centre for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin. 

Contact: maja.schlueter@su.se

Nanda Wijermans

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Researcher

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Nanda’s research focuses on understanding and formalizing of human group behavior in and on social-ecological systems. She uses agent-based modelling (computational simulations) to integrate and formalize case or expert knowledge, social theory and connecting to other methods to contribute to a deeper understanding.

She works as a researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). Currently she works on synthesizing knowledge using agent-based modelling, i.e. comparing and exploring fishery case studies and interventions. Previously, Nanda worked in the SES-LINK project focusing on the role of human behavior in diverse natural resource management projects. 

Contact: nanda.wijermans@su.se

Danice Ball

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Dani is a fourth-year undergraduate at Princeton studying Engineering in the Liberal Arts with certificates in Sustainable Energy, Values and Public Life, and Cognitive Science. She has previously done research on conservative approaches to climate policy, as well as the energy transition on college campuses.

She is looking forward to contributing to research about how culture influences the motivational factors that cause individuals and households to make more climate-friendly decisions. This will hopefully have applications as she goes on to work with climate and sustainability through communication and public policy.

Robert Britt

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Research Assistant, 2020-2021

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Robert is a first-year undergraduate at Princeton University. He plans on concentrating in anthropology and following the medical anthropology track with a certificate in global health and health policy.

He is highly interested in interdisciplinary research and excited to learn about both policy and psychology through his time at the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL).

Nicabec Casido

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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certificate in Linguistics with an interest of a future career in medicine. In her previous research experience, she performed literary analysis to determine a rhetorical strategy used in the speech acts of Donald Trump.

While working with the BSPL, she is excited to see how authority figures or established groups may affect the perceptions of the public on environmental issues. She also hopes to refine her skills in the quantitative aspects of research.

Calif Chen

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Calif is a rising Junior at Princeton University pursuing a major within the School of Public and International Affairs and certificates in Environmental Studies, Values and Public Life, and East Asian Studies. She is particularly interested in the decision-making process within environmental policy.

Calif joined the BSPL to gain a better understanding of the environmental decision-making process within both the government and private sector. At the BSPL, she will be analyzing India’s environmental policy network and identifying drivers and barriers of corporate climate action.

Kaixing Chou

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Kaixing is a third-year student at Princeton University pursuing a major within the School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in East Asian Studies. She is particularly interested in the parallels between presented narrative and executed policy.

Kaixing joined the BSPL to gain a better understanding of environmental policy follow-through on governmental and corporate levels as determinants for effective incentive measures. At the BSPL, she will be analyzing drivers of Indian sustainability initiatives.

Maxim Doiron

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Lab Manager, 2021-2022

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Maxim is the Lab Manager of the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. He received a M.S. in Human Decision Science from Maastricht University in 2021 and a B.A. in Psychology from Amherst College in 2019. During the 2019/2020 academic term he was an Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) Exchange Fellow at ENS Paris where he took courses in their Cognitive Sciences Department.

Maxim is interested in pursuing a PhD in the behavioral sciences and is particularly interested in studying decision making in applied contexts. His specific research interests include partisanship, beliefs about the future, social norms, social policy, and the environment.

Contact:md4908@princeton.edu

Sierra Gonzales

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Sierra is a rising fourth-year undergraduate at Princeton University, majoring in Psychology. She hopes to utilize this background to get a Master’s in Education and ultimately make an impact through teaching on impoverished communities, such as the one where she grew up.

With BSPL, she hopes to branch off from her previous research experience in social science regarding body image and eating disorders into her other academic interest of the intersection between conservation and socioeconomic status. She aims to polish her data analysis methods while conducting meta-analysis and research on the impact of social norms and how much this research can extend to worldwide conclusions.

Sloan Huebner

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Sloan is a junior at Princeton University, concentrating in Sociology with certificates in Urban Studies and American Studies.

Over the summer, Sloan worked with members of BSPL on a project studying governance and citizen and risk preferences surrounding COVID-19 and climate change in New York City. As she continues her work with the lab, she is particularly interested in the intersection of climate policy and larger demographic trends and is looking forward to addressing these issues through both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Elisabeth Krueger

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Postdoc, 2019-2021

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Elisabeth Krueger is a Postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton Environmental Institute, affiliated with PEI’s Center for BioComplexity and the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment. Elisabeth studies how human-environment interactions are mediated through infrastructure and institutions, especially in urban areas. She investigates the effect that different urban designs and governance strategies can have on local and global sustainability outcomes. She models trade-offs between security, resilience and sustainability across scales, as well as across critical service sectors, such as water and energy supply.

Her interests cover the mechanisms of, and emergent spatial and temporal patterns resulting from human-environment interactions, as well as cognitive processes that determine the perceptions of risks and benefits at the human-environment interface.

Elisabeth completed her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering Program at Purdue University (Indiana) in 2019, and previously worked as a research manager at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Germany.

Jonathan Lin

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Jonathan Lin is a rising Sophomore at Princeton University planning on pursuing a major in Economics. He is interested in learning more about climate policy as well as its impacts and perceptions by different individuals.
At the BSPL, Jonathan looks forward to gaining experience with interdisciplinary research and data analysis in the context of studying climate issues.

Ricky Lin

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Research Assistant, 2020-2021

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Ricky is a second-year undergraduate student at Princeton University, majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. He is interested in the intersection of applied mathematics with social science and wants to learn more about how computer science can help with experiments in psychology.

At the Behavorial Science for Policy Lab, he hopes to learn more about game theory and designing unbiased experiments.

Daniel Liu

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Research Assistant, 2020-2021

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Daniel is a senior in Princeton University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with primary research interests in disease dynamics and modeling, antimicrobial resistance, and epidemiology. After graduation, he plans on attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital where he hopes to continue his research on disease modelling.

Daniel joined the BSPL from his interest in how game theory can be applied to attitudes towards risk adverse behavior. At BSPL, he is currently working on a project to examine the applicability of laboratory and field based games to pro-environmental behavior.

Johanna Matt-Navarro

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Lab Manager, 2018-2021

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Johanna was a former Lab Manager at BSPL. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, with a degree in Economics and minors in Environmental Studies and Fine Arts. Previously, she was a Research Assistant at the Schweitzer Lab at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked on a range of topics relating to emotions and decision-making.

Johanna is interested in pursuing a PhD in a behavioral field and is particularly interested in behavioral research in applied contexts. Specifically, her research interests include decision making under uncertainty, intertemporal choice, group behavior, social norms, prejudice, gender, and the environment. Through her work at BSPL, she is interested in exploring how behavioral research can generate effective and meaningful approaches for real world policy solutions.

As of Fall 2021, Johanna is doing a PhD in Behavioral Decision Making at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Contact: jmattnavarro@gmail.com

Sullivan Meyer

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Intern, Summer 2021

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Sullivan is a rising sophomore at Princeton University in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is concentrating in Architecture and Engineering with a Structural Focus and will likely earn a certificate in History and the Practice of Diplomacy.

Sullivan is interested in the intersection of engineering and policy, especially as it relates to sustainability. At the BSPL, he hopes to get experience with social science research and data analysis, while learning about the social and political context involved with implementing green technologies and infrastructure.

Tanvi Nibhanupudi

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Research Assistant, 2021

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Tanvi is a rising third-year undergraduate at Princeton University. She is concentrating in Economics, with certificates in Political Economy and Journalism. She is passionate about leveraging the intersection between behavioural science and economics to make socially-informed and environmentally-conscious policy.

During her time with the BSPL, Tanvi is eager to investigate the drivers and barriers to corporate climate action as well as the disproportionate impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on different demographics, resulting in shifting social norms. Overall, Tanvi hopes the quantitative understanding of social norms she gains through this research to her further work in economics and journalism.

Leila Owens

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Research Assistant, 2020-2021

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Leila is a rising Junior at Princeton studying Civil and Environmental Engineering with certificates in Sustainable Energy and the History and Practice of Diplomacy. She is interested in climate change policy initiatives and has interned for a variety of NGOs and international organizations in the field.

Leila joined the BSPL as a research assistant to further her interest in environmental policy in India by working with the Digital India Project.

Pooja Parmar

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Intern, Summer 2021

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Pooja Parmar is a rising Senior at Princeton University. She is concentrating in Economics with a minor in Environmental Science.

Pooja joined BSPL due to her interest in trying to understand climate change issues from a social science perspective. Pooja is part of the Digital India project where she researching climate attitudes in India via a meta text analysis study.

Harvin Sangha

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Harvin is a rising junior at Princeton University pursuing a major in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with certificates in Applications of Computing, Finance, and Statistics and Machine Learning (SML).

At the BSPL, Harvin hopes to better understand the intersection between technology, behavioral science, and sustainability. He is interested in learning about experimental design and data analysis as it pertains to assessing public support for renewable energy infrastructure.

Sophia Steele

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Sophia Steele is rising senior at Princeton University pursuing a major within the School of Public and International Affairs, and a certificate in Technology & Society. She is particularly interested in learning how ESG and social impact investing contributes to societal wellbeing. During her time at the BSPL, Sophia aims to gain a more in-depth understanding of the psychosocial underpinnings of sustainable behavior.

Tatijana Stewart

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Research Assistant, 2021-2022

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Tatijana is a fourth-year undergraduate in the Architecture department at Princeton University; she is also pursuing a certificate in Environmental Studies. Tatijana is interested in learning more about—and developing solutions to—the social equity challenges posed by contemporary sustainable urban development practices.

At BSPL, Tatijana will be contributing to research on the spillover effects of individual behaviors on environmental policy support as a mechanism for better understanding the disproportionate impacts of climate change on certain groups. She looks forward to developing her skills in quantitative methods of analysis, and hopes that her time as a BSPL Research Assistant will help guide

Nicole Svensson

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Intern, Summer 2021

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Nicole is a rising sophomore at Princeton University. She plans on concentrating in Operations Research Financial Engineering with a certificate in Engineering and Management Systems and Statistics and Machine Learning.

Nicole decided to intern at BSPL because of her interest in integrating sustainability and statistics. At BSPL, she is working as a data analyst on a project to analyze how climate change and COVID have impacted socially vulnerable populations.

Helen Wang

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Research Assistant, 2020-2021

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Helen is a second-year undergraduate student at Princeton University, currently majoring in Psychology as well as minoring in Creative Writing and Computer Science. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D in Clinical or Forensic Psychology but is interested in exploring Psychology as a whole.

She hopes to learn more about decision-making processes in both the real world and within a lab setting. She is eager to learn more about the various different methods used in psychological research.

Aaron Charlop-Powers

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Researcher, 2020

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Aaron Charlop-Powers is a native of New York City. He is interested in human decision making, specifically in the context of understanding and creating public policy. He is a 2020 graduate of the Master in Public Policy program at Princeton University.

Hale Forster

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PhD Student, 2015-2020

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Hale Forster is a Ph.D. student in the Psychology department at Columbia University, where she also conducts research in the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and the Center for Decision Sciences. Her research focuses on behavior change and decision making, with an emphasis on understanding and encouraging sustainable energy use behaviors using a combination of lab and field research.

She is currently researching the effect of messages that activate environmental motivations on energy saving choices. This research examines the mechanisms through which environmental messages can lead to behavior change, including influencing how people make decisions (via activating different decision modes) and understanding how these messages activate a range of environmental identities.

She also studies how social environments can foster behavior change. Prior to joining Columbia, Hale was a Senior Consultant at an energy market research firm. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.

Alicia Cooperman

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Postdoc, 2019-2020

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Alicia studies politics at the intersection of development and the environment, and she focuses on the way that collective action interacts with local politics to influence sustainable development. By combining a deep understanding of the social and political realities of local contexts with cutting-edge climate data, her research illuminates the relationship between human and natural systems.

Alicia’s research interests include the political economy of development, environmental politics and policymaking, distributive politics, and statistical methods. Her broader research agenda studies the politics of natural disasters, natural resource management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.

Alicia received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 2019, a Master of International Affairs (M.I.A.) from UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy & Strategy in 2013, and a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2008.

Amina Ahmad

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Intern, Summer 2020

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Amina is a junior in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, pursuing a certificate in finance. As an intern in the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab, she is responsible for looking at the evolution of several corporate institutions’ policies on climate change over time and making data visualizations to make this information more accessible. She is interested in exploring the intersection of social norms research, policy and finance.

Mackenzie Barry

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Research Assistant, 2018-2019

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Mackenzie Barry is a Laboratory Coordinator/Research Assistant in the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL) at Princeton University. She recently received her BA in Psychology and Business Studies while on a full athletic scholarship at Providence College in Rhode Island.

She has conducted research previously in the fields of interpersonal relationships in athletics, industrial organization, and social media. The latter two are currently in the process of being published to their respective journals.

At BSPL she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind making decisions in the real world. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in Sports Psychology concentrating on the interpersonal relationships between coaches and athletes as well as motivations of athletes that allow them to pursue their respective sport. As part of the BSPL team she hopes to gain more experience in research by exploring a different field as well as learn more about the issues facing the environment and how humanity’s relationship can help reduce the effects we are currently experiencing.

As of Fall 2019, Mackenzie is attending Providence College for a Master of Education in Counseling.

Contact: mackenziebarry@princeton.edu

Colton Bishop

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Research Assistant, 2019-2020

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Colton is a senior in Princeton University’s department of Computer Science pursuing a certificate in Statistics and Machine Learning. He is passionate about applying technology and data to make social and environmental impact.

Within the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab, Colton is responsible for scraping social media data and applying machine learning and natural language processing techniques to understand i) how different environmental and political events impact different groups, neighborhoods, and individuals, and ii) how corporate language regarding sustainability and the environment have changed over time.

Audrey Davis

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Research Assistant, 2019-2020

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Audrey is a senior undergraduate student at Princeton University pursuing a degree in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a certificate in Environmental Studies. She recently discovered her passion for psychology, leading her to the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL). During her time working for the lab, she has explored the intersection between public policy, environment, and psychology through research for the lab’s meta-analysis.

Post-graduation, she hopes to gain more experience in psychology research and eventually pursue a PhD in psychology.

Maria Fleury

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Intern, Summer 2019

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Maria is a Summer Intern in the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL) for the summer of 2019. She is an incoming second-year undergraduate student at Princeton University pursuing a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a possible certificate in Visual Arts.

Although this is her first experience with academic research she has long had a passion for all-things environment. As part of the Princeton Student Climate Initiative, she recently helped pass a referendum asking the University for clearer standing on climate action.

During her eight weeks at BSPL Maria hopes to learn more about the decision-making process and how social norms play a role in pro-environmental changes. She hopes to gain experience in research and is very excited to explore the intersection of technology, psychology and policy.

Oleg Golev

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Intern, Summer 2019

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Oleg is an incoming sophomore at Princeton University studying Operations Research and Financial Engineering. With some background in psychological research, Oleg considers this summer internship a natural continuation of his interest in behavioral economics and social influence.

During the internship, Oleg hopes to explore the nuances in environmental policy implementation and the research involved in framing desired outcomes. Likewise, he hopes to use this opportunity to learn and explore applications for machine learning and other quantitative tools in the field.

In the future, Oleg aims to grasp a more extensive array of algorithms and a better theoretical foundation, which all play a significant role in individual and group decision-making models in the form of data mining and applied statistics.

Christina Im

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Research Assistant, 2020

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Christina is a third-year undergraduate at Princeton University pursuing a major in Sociology and a certificate in Creative Writing. She has previously worked on research in political science around protest and public opinion surrounding the Civil Rights Movement.

At the BSPL, Christina looks forward to learning about applying the lens of social science to the most pressing environmental policy issues of our time. She hopes to expand her perspective on social science research and take on interdisciplinary work post-graduation.

Deniz Keles

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Research Assistant, 2019-2020

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Deniz is a senior Engineering major and Economics minor at Smith College. She is interested in Behavioral Economics and Operations Research. Behavioral Science for Policy Lab’s (BSPL) interdisciplinary approach made her want to join the lab.
At BSPL, she hopes to use the skills she gained through her engineering education on the climate change front and get a better understanding of behavioral research. She also hopes her experience at BSPL will help her efforts in Engineers Without Borders. She aims to focus on urban development, mobility, and climate change mitigation strategies in the future.

Shira Moolten

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Intern, Summer 2020

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Shira is a senior undergraduate student at Princeton University pursuing a degree in Psychology with certificates in Creative Writing and Journalism. She is fascinated by the potential applications of psychological research to solving some of the biggest problems of our time, which is why she joined BSPL. She is currently working on analyzing how social norms, risk perceptions, and laboratory games can be used to predict people’s pro-environmental behavior.
Post-graduation, she plans on pursuing either journalism, a Ph.D in psychology, or both.

Emily Reinhold

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Intern, Summer 2020

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Emily is a rising senior majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, with a focus on environmental policy. She is pursing a certificate in Environmental Studies. On campus, Emily is a member of the Princeton Student Climate Initiative (PSCI), where she helps gather stakeholder feedback for a proposed Carbon Fee and Dividend policy in New Jersey. In addition to her interest in policies aimed at addressing climate change, one of Emily’s primary interests is addressing plastic waste. At BSPL, she is helping with several literature reviews related to urban climate governance and motivations for pro-environmental behavior, as well as research on existing policies used to respond to extreme events. She is super excited to be participating in projects that align with her policy interests.

Jao Tao

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Intern, Summer 2020

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JT is a rising junior from New York City majoring in Computer Science and pursuing a certificate in Statistics and Machine Learning as well as American Studies. She is particularly interested in combining computer science with ethics and public policy. JT also enjoys playing rugby, collecting playing cards, and drawing.

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