Sandra Boegelein

University of East Anglia

PhD Researcher


I have completed my PhD in environmental psychology in 2016. My thesis explores climate change mitigation as a collective action problem. Because climate change can only be tackled collectively people feel powerless and perceive their own actions as a drop in the ocean, which reduces the likelihood to act on climate change. However in addition to such negative responses, the collective nature of mitigation can also trigger responsive that make action more likely to occur. One especially powerful response is the consideration of a collective interest, the consideration of what personal action would lead to the best result for everyone. My research has found that alerting people to this collective interest may increase their willingness to act on climate change under certain conditions.

Currently I am working at the School of Psychology on a research project which tests the effect of different messages on water conservation behaviour. This project is an exciting collaboration with Anglian Water and Glaxo Smith Kline.

I am also a local city councillor for the Green Party and have represented Wensum Ward since 2014. In my role as a councillor I am especially keen to foster working relationships between academia and local politics to improve evidence based policy making as well as applied research and academic impact. We have been able to set up a number of collaborations between researchers and students at the UEA and the local council, including workshops to shape the local environmental strategy. We are currently exploring further options to collaborate with local councils and help increase environmental behaviours in Norfolk.

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