Wageningen University is a globally leading institution in environmental and agrifood-related research. The mission of the Urban Economics (UEC) group is to contribute to more resilient cities in terms of social equality, economic advantages and environmental quality. Therefore, UEC focusses on two main themes: sustainable consumption and urban-rural interactions. We use insights from general-, urban- and behavioural economics to improve the understanding of consumer and household decision making concerning sustainability, health and well-being and the impacts at the individual, urban and regional level.
Since 2014 I am working on my PhD research within this project and focus on designing behavioral interventions to motivate people to reduce their energy use. Something that has always puzzled me has been the fact that people often say they find sustainability issues important, but that they are ultimately not really willing to change their own behavior for it. I really like that within this project we can go beyond what people say and objectively measure behavior in terms of energy use. For me this project, therefore, offers the best of both worlds, we can test theoretical concepts and we can objectively measure how this affects actual behavior ‘in the field’.
Associate Professor/Project Lead
As a Social Psychologist specialized in Behavioral Economics and Decision Making, I am extremely enthousiastic about this project. It offers a unique opportunity to study actual energy behavior in a real-life setting, with a constant stream of new participants and very detailed measurements. We can run experimental studies and precisely monitor the effects of our interventions on actual energy behavior by ‘real people’. We base our interventions on state-of-the-art scientific insights and run the studies according to very strict scientific rules. This makes our results scientifically very important, and at the same time very relevant for our partners and other non-scientists. Projects that incorporate all these features are sometimes attempted, but rarely succeed. I am very proud to be project lead on this “Living Lab”.