Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield
“I am a social psychologist, interested in how people achieve their goals and make changes to their behaviour. The usual answer is that people need to be motivated. However, even medium-to-large changes in people's intentions seem to have only a small-to-medium effect on their behaviour. In short, motivation is not enough. My current work, funded by the European Research Council proposes that one reason that people struggle to translate their good intentions into action is that they bury their heads in the sand and fail to monitor the relation between their current behaviour and their desired behaviour – we call this the 'ostrich problem’.
“I am leading the Institute of Inertia’s work into understanding inertia, starting with household finances. Why don’t we change suppliers more often to save ourselves money or why do we leave the TV on standby when we know that it adds to our electricity costs? I am going to be asking people across the country why this is the case.”