I am a behavioral scientist focused on understanding barriers to behavior change and designing interventions to overcome them.
I specialize in intervention and research design, statistics, and intervention/program evaluation. I have successfully applied these skills in sustainability, health, and education with academic, industry, as well as private partners and collaborators.
Given we most often know the environmental problems we face, why do we continually fail to take action?
My research considers the psychological barriers that stand in the way of greater environmental policy support and individual-level environmental behaviors.
Policy: Through a combination of laboratory experiments and field research, my colleagues and I have found one of the major barriers to greater climate policy support is not lack of belief in climate change, but instead, perceptions that one’s own political party does not support policy. This can lead to pro-environmental Republicans and Democrats alike to not support or even vote against an environmental policy.
Individual behaviors: I have applied the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model as a framework to design effective residential water conservation interventions. My colleagues and I have found that this theoretical framework can help provide a common lense to interpret existing household water conservation studies, and can also be used to design an effective water conservation intervention.
Drinking has been and continues to be a serious health concern, despite consistent prevention and intervention programs. This is particularly true on college campuses.
I have investigated many of the drivers of excessive drinking, especially among college students. For many, social motivations lead them to engage in dangerous behaviors such as binge drinking and playing drinking games. Although many know the risks involved and do not want to suffer the consequences, they don’t know how to reduce their drinking. I designed a successful intervention that combined two established behavioral interventions that successfully reduced college student drinking, and I continue to explore how that approach can be improved and expanded to other populations.
How can small interventions lead to meaningful and positive changes in student outcomes over time?
Many seemingly small psychological interventions have been shown to have profound effects on student outcomes, increasing grades, graduation rates, and college enrollment. I am working with colleagues to better understand how these small interventions, such as self-affirmation, interact with the broader educational context and other intervention approaches to create behavioral channels. Once an intervention nudges students into these channels, they are more likely to boost their academic performance, graduate, and enroll in college.
Statistics and Research Design
I have over 10 years of experience designing survey and experimental research, as well as completing statistical analyses for both academic and commercial projects. I have designed and run over 50 research projects, including online and in-person studies, field studies, focus groups, longitudinal studies, and A/B tests. For these and many other projects, I have lead the design of analytic plans, created databases from multiple data sources, run analyses, created data visualizations, and reported on the findings in written reports and in-person presentations.
My analytic skills include:
- t tests, ANOVAs, ANCOVAs, correlations, linear regression, and logistic regression
- Non-parametric tests
- Mediation and moderation analyses
- Structural equation modeling (SEM)
- Multilevel or hierarchical modeling
- Supervised and unsupervised machine learning analyses, including various cluster analyses
- Item response theory (IRT) modeling
I run most of my analyses in R and SPSS, and am also experienced in MPlus and Conquest.
Did it work?
Any time we try something new, it is almost always for a specific purpose. A proper evaluation process is critical to understand what the results are from anything new we try. In my evaluation work, I focus on designing an evaluation plan that provides useful and relevant insights for the life of a program or product. This not only answers the question of whether or not something worked, but also enables continuous improvement over time to ensure goals are met.
I have designed evaluation plans for multiple companies, non-profit groups, and academic partners.