Jesse graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2022 with a first-class MA(Hons) in Psychology and Economics. Throughout her degree, Jesse studied the design and testing of interventions to affect behaviour for the public good. Her dissertation explored, in a laboratory setting, how the presentation of information (on voluntary climate actions) to be framed as a loss or a gain could influence cooperation. Jesse also volunteered as a research assistant to scrape Reddit's "Change My View" forum to extract variables that predicted a persuasive post. In a later stage, this data will be used to design interventions to correct social and scientific misconceptions (such as Climate Change denial).
Upon graduating, Jesse recognised that the UK has done relatively well in reducing carbon emissions on the supply side, but relatively little on the demand side. At the same time, emissions in the transport sector remain stubbornly high and transport behaviour difficult to change. Hence she joined AAPS CDT to contribute to reducing demand-side emissions in the transport sector, through behavioural interventions.
The citizens jury being co-organised by the University of Bath (UoB) and the local Council (BANES) in late 2021 will address sustainable travel from the city to the University and surrounding area. It seeks to promote collaboration between the University and local stakeholders to identify acceptable technological and behavioural options for safe, sustainable, cost-effective, and healthy travel by staff, students, and residents in the local area. The proposed PhD research will build on this deliberative activity by developing and evaluating one or more modal shift and/or reduced demand behaviour change interventions to achieve BANES’ and the University’s goals (including UoB’s Climate Action Framework and the Council’s sustainable communities agenda).
Jesse's project will draw on current work being undertaken within the AAPS Transportation & Society theme on consumer decision-making in relation to low-carbon transport, including timing modal shift interventions to ‘moments of change’ (periods of disruption or transition, such as the start of the academic year, when new students have not yet developed travel habits). It will also seek to incorporate engineering innovations in AAPS, for example exploring how digital technologies and sustainable vehicle/fuel technologies may form part of the final intervention packages, along with social/behavioural elements.
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