Professor Birgitta Gatersleben

Professor of Environmental Psychology
+44 (0)1483 689306
Mon or Fri 10-11 (semester time) or email me - room 8 AC 05


Areas of specialism

Environmental Psychology; Sustainability; Urban living; Environmental stress and wellbeing; Nature experiences

University roles and responsibilities

  • Head of Environmental Psychology section
  • Director of Environmental Psychology Research Group
  • Programme Leader for MSc Environmental Psychology

    My qualifications

    University of Groningen, The Netherlands
    University of Leiden, The Netherlands


    Research interests

    Research projects

    Completed research projects 

    • LiveLagom: Sustainable Consumption Changes (COI)
      • 2015 – 2019; IKEA
      • With Centre for Environmental Strategies (CES) at Surrey
    • CUSP: Centre for Research on Prosperity Without Growth (COI)
      • 2016 – 2021; ESRC
      • With CES, Sociology and several other institutions in the UK
    • SLRG (Sustainable Lifestyle Research Group) (COI)
      • 2010 – 2013; ESRC, DEFRA, Scottish Government
      • With CES, Sociology (Surrey), Universities of Bath, Sussex and Edinburgh, Institute of Fiscal Studies
    • REDUCE (Reshaping Energy Demand of Users by Communication Technology and Economic Incentives) (COI)
      • 2010 – 2013; EPSRC
      • With Centre for Communications Research, University of Surrey and CES at Surrey
    • RESOLVE (Research on Lifestyles, Values and the Environment) (COI)
      • 2006 – 2011; ESRC
      • With CES, Sociology and Economics at Surrey
    • Sustainable lifestyle survey (PI)
      • 2011; EDEN project
    • Hoody Goody Buddy (PI)
      • 2009 – 2010; Joseph Rowntree Foundation
      • With Cadense Works, Sheffield
    • BARENERGY (Barriers for energy changes among end consumers and households) (PI)
      • 2008 – 2010; EU Framework 7 programme
      • With SIFO, Sweden, TNO, The Netherlands, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, EdF, France, University of St Gallen, Switserland, Central European University, Hungary, Centre for Sustainable Energy, UK
    • Investigation motivations of segments (COI)
      • 2008; DEFRA
      • With CES, Surrey
    • Evidence Base Review on Public Attitudes to Climate Change and Transport Behaviour (PI)
      • 2005 – 2006; DfT
      • With Robert Gordon University, Ecolane
    • ToolSust (The involvement of stakeholders to develop and implement tools for sustainable households in the city of tomorrow) (PI)
      • 2000 – 2003; EU framework 5 programme
      • With SIFO, Norway, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, University of Padua, Italy
    • Croco-cycles and walking buses (COI)
      • 2001 – 2002; Surrey County Council
    • Jubilee line Extension Perception Study (COI)
      • 1999 and 2000; Oxford Brookes University and Transport for London (Jubilee Line Impact Study)
    • The risk perceptions of transport generated air pollution.
      • 1998-2001: Guildford Borough Council

      Workshops and networks

      • Too cute to kill? From the depiction of animals in children’s literature to the framing of government policy by adults (COI)
        • 2016: IAS: £4,000;
        • With VET school and School of English and Languages at Surrey and University of Reading
      • Lifestyles in transition; opportunities for sustainable lifestyles? (COI)
        • 2014: IAS: £ 4,000
        • With Sociology and CES at Surrey
      • Psychology of Sustainable Development BPS seminar series (COI)
        • 2010 – 2011: ESRC: £3,000 (£1,000 to Surrey)
        • With Cardiff University and University of Exeter
      • OHN: Outdoor Health Network (COI)
        • 2009 – 2010; ESRC: £13,859 to Surrey
        • With 26 researchers from 15 different institutions (e.g., University’s of Surrey, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Natural England, Forestry commission, NHS Highland) participated in this project.
      • Environmental Socialisation within the European news media (PI)
        • 2000; ESF Term II: (total: around 300,00 FRF: 45,000 Euro)
        • With Copenhagen Business school (Denmark), University of Plymouth, University of Groningen, University of Hohenheim, l'Università di Parma.


      Postgraduate research supervision

      Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised

      My teaching

      Courses I teach on

      Postgraduate taught

      My publications


      Murtagh N, Gatersleben Birgitta, Uzzell David (2012)Self-identity Threat and Resistance to Change: Evidence from Regular Travel Behaviour, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology32(4)pp. 318-326 Elsevier
      Despite widespread acceptance of the need to change individual behaviour towards sustainability, resistance to change remains a continuing challenge. Past behaviour or habit, and psychological reactance, have been explored as components of resistance. Growing evidence for the influence of self-identity on behaviour suggests self-identity as a further factor. The current study draws on Identity Process Theory (Breakwell, 1986) to propose that threat to self-identity contributes to resistance to change, over and above the influence of past behaviour. Using travel-related vignettes to trigger threat, a study with 295 working parents in England found evidence supporting the relationship between self-identity threat and resistance to change travel behaviour, controlling for past behaviour. The findings further suggest identity threat as an alternative theoretical perspective on reactance. The results build theoretical understanding of resistance as a barrier to behaviour change. The application of an identity theory to understanding resistance is argued to add potentially new ways to encourage change towards sustainable behaviour. In addition, the findings suggest rich avenues for future research on the theoretical and empirical implications of the relationship of identities and sustainable behaviours.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, White Emma, Abrahamse W, Jackson Timothy, Uzzell David (2010)Values and sustainable lifestyles, In: Architectural Science Review53(1)pp. 37-50 Routledge, Taylor & Francis
      With ever-increasing concerns about the consequences of climate change, households are an important focus for change. There is increasing pressure on households to change lifestyles and adopt behaviours that require less energy and natural resources. At the same time, retailers and producers of consumer goods aim to persuade people to consume more through commercial advertisements. Social science research examining sustainable behaviours often fails to examine the relative influence of both environmental concern and materialism simultaneously. Moreover, most of this research focuses on explaining or promoting behaviours with pro-environmental intent, thereby ignoring many consumer behaviours that may have a significant environmental impact. This article aims to address some of these shortcomings by examining the relationships between materialistic and environmental values and different consumer behaviours. Survey data from 194 individuals from 99 households were analysed. The findings show that quite a number of people express both relatively high levels of environmental concern and relatively high levels of materialism simultaneously. Moreover, materialism and environmental concern appear to be related to different types of behaviours. This raises important questions for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles, which may need to address not only environmental concerns but also materialistic concerns.
      Murtagh N, Gatersleben B, Uzzell David (2014)20∶60∶20 - Differences in Energy Behaviour and Conservation between and within Households with Electricity Monitors, In: PLoS One9(3)pp. e92019-? Public Library of Science
      The introduction of electricity monitors (in-home displays; IHDs), which show accurate and up-to-the-minute energy usage, is expected to lead to reduction in consumption. Studies of feedback on domestic electricity use have generally supported this view. However, such studies also demonstrate wide variation between households. Examining the heterogeneity of responses is essential for understanding the actual and potential effectiveness of IHDs and in order to target interventions effectively. To explore differences between households’ responses to IHDs, we conducted a qualitative study with 21 households who had an IHD for more than six months. Of the 21, only four households continued to refer to the IHD and the findings suggest that attempts to reduce energy consumption were situated in wider social and physical contexts. Further, the participants demonstrated energy saving behaviour before and outside of IHD usage. The patterns of energy behaviours and attempts at electricity conservation could best be understood by categorising the households into three types: the Monitor Enthusiasts (20%), the Aspiring Energy Savers (60%) and the Energy Non-Engaged (20%). The factors of importance in energy behaviour differed between the categories. Financial savings contributed to efforts to reduce energy use but only up to boundaries which varied considerably between households. Social practices and social relationships appeared to constrain what actions households were prepared to undertake, illuminating aspects of inter-household variation. Within the household, all energy users were not equal and we found that women were particularly influential on energy use through their primary responsibility for domestic labour on behalf of the household. The implications of the findings for environmental campaigning are discussed. The research was funded by the Digital Economy Programme of the Research Councils UK, a cross-council initiative led by EPSRC ( and contributed to by AHRC, ESRC and MRC, under the REDUCE project grant (no EP/I000232/1). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
      Murtagh N, Gatersleben Birgitta, Uzzell David (2014)Identity Threat and Resistance to Change: Evidence and Implications from Transport-Related Behaviour, In: Breakwell G, Jaspal R (eds.), Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Changepp. 335-356 Cambridge University Press
      Gluhak A, Imran MA, Uzzell David, Murtagh N, Nati M, Gatersleben Birgitta, Headley WR (2013)Individual energy use and feedback in an office setting: A field trial, In: Energy Policy62pp. 717-728 Elsevier
      Despite national plans to deploy smart meters in small and medium businesses in the UK, there is little knowledge of occupant energy use in offices. The objectives of the study were to investigate the effect of individual feedback on energy use at the workdesk, and to test the relationship between individual determinants, energy use and energy reduction. A field trial is presented, which monitored occupant energy use and provided individual feedback to 83 office workers in a university. The trial comprised pre- and post-intervention surveys, energy measurement and provision of feedback for 18 weeks post-baseline, and two participant focus groups. The main findings were: statistically significant energy reduction was found, but not for the entire measurement period; engagement with feedback diminished over time; no measured individual variables were related to energy reduction and only attitudes to energy conservation were related to energy use; an absence of motivation to undertake energy reduction actions was in evidence. The implications for energy use in offices are considered, including the need for motivations beyond energy reduction to be harnessed to realise the clear potential for reduced energy use at workdesks. © 2013 The Authors.
      Poor work privacy represents a frequently reported issue in open office environments,yet relatively little is known about its consequences. In addition, prior research has limitations including weak operationalisations and measures of privacy. Therefore, this thesis developed a new work privacy measure and examined the adverse effects of poor work privacy on workers’ well-being. The roles of coping appraisal and contextual factors in this relationship were explored to inform future preventative steps. Study 1 (n = 30) qualitatively explored different scenarios of poor work privacy in an open-plan office context for the development of a new measure of privacy fit. Three dimensions of poor work privacy have been identified: acoustical and visual stimulation,interruptions, and confidentiality. Study 2 quantitatively tested (2.A n = 195) and confirmed (2.B n = 109) the factor structure of the new privacy fit measure in two open-plan office worker samples. Four dimensions were identified: conversation confidentiality, task confidentiality, visual/acoustical stimulation, and interruptions. The measure concluded with 12 items, good model fit, reliability, and construct validity. Study 3 (n = 220) employed the newly developed measure and quantitatively examined stress-related consequences of poor privacy fit in an open-plan office worker sample. Poor privacy fit was associated with dissatisfaction, stress, and fatigue. Coping appraisal was found to mediate these relationships. Study 4 (n = 61) quantitatively demonstrated in a longitudinal study that a move to an activity-based office influenced workers’ privacy fit, coping appraisal, and stress-related outcomes (satisfaction, stress, and fatigue). Study 5 (n = 22) qualitatively explored contextual factors in the activity-based Office that support or hinder privacy fit. Four factors were identified: the physical environment (e.g. variety of settings) and the social environment (e.g. social norms), the job (e.g. role conflict), and the self (e.g. self-awareness). This thesis developed a new measure of work privacy and confirmed that privacy fit has an impact on workers’ well-being. The thesis demonstrated the methodological benefit of considering individuals’ appraisal, and the importance of contextual factors in privacy regulation.
      Murtagh N, Gatersleben Birgitta, Uzzell David (2012)Multiple identities and travel mode choice for regular journeys, In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour15(5)pp. 514-524 Elsevier
      Growing evidence supports a range of non-instrumental factors influencing travel mode. Amongst these, identity has been proposed. However, to date, the relationship has not been systematically investigated and few investigations have harnessed a theoretical framework for identity. Drawing on role theory (Stryker, S., 1980, Symbolic interactionism: A social structural version. CA: Benjamin Cummings), we hypothesised that multiple identities, of varying importance, are related to travel mode choice. The study of 248 UK urban/suburban, working, car-owning parents used survey-based data to test the influence of seven identities on travel mode choice in regular travel. Multiple and logistic regression analyses found multiple identities to be significantly related to travel mode to work, on escort education and on other regular journeys. The study demonstrated different patterns of relationship between identity on different types of journey and found evidence for travel mode choice as embedded within social identities. In addition to the study‟s contribution of new empirical findings, its application of a theoretical focus on identity offers additional strategies in attempting to change travel behaviours towards sustainability.
      Gatersleben B, Uzzell D (2004)Perceptions of car users and policy makers on the effectiveness and acceptability of car travel reduction measures: An attribution theory approach, In: Rothengatter T, Huguenin RD (eds.), Traffic and Transport Psychology: Theory and Applicationspp. 469-479 Elsevier
      Murtagh N, Gatersleben Birgitta, Uzzell David (2018)Workplace Energy Use Feedback in Context, In: Wells V, Gregory-Smith D, Manika D (eds.), Research Handbook on Employee Pro-Environmental Behaviour: Part IV Employee environmental behaviour, feedback and technologypp. 349-368 Edward Elgar
      Objectives: Theoretical linkage has been made between identity and transport-related behaviour but the extensive implications have yet to be explored empirically. The current research programme aims to provide evidence for the influence of identity on personal transportation, specifically how identity threats may affect the intention to resist or to engage with change to travel behaviour. As part of the larger research programme, this study focuses on resistance to change. Drawing on Identity Process Theory, it hypothesises that identity threat is related to resistance to change travel behaviour, over and above psychological reactance. Design: In order to evoke threat while complying with ethical guidelines, participants were asked to rate their intention to change their travel behaviour in response to 12 vignettes. Each vignette presented a short description of a travel-related situation. Half of the vignettes were designed to invoke identity threat and half were designed as neutral. Method: The study was administered nationally to 300 urban working parents. Baseline measures included intention to change travel behaviour, trait reactance, affect, salience and centrality of identities. Analyses tested for significant differences between neutral and threat-inducing vignettes and between threat-inducing vignettes that tap or do not tap reactance. In addition, intention to change was regressed onto identity salience, identity centrality and trait reactance. Results: Pilot data and initial results from the full study data are presented. Conclusions: Recommendations are suggested, based on Identity Process Theory, for reducing resistance to change travel behaviour.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, White E, Abrahamse W, Jackson T, Uzzell D (2010)Values and sustainable lifestyles, In: Roaf S (eds.), Transforming Markets in the Built Environmentpp. 37-50 Earthscan / James & James
      With ever-increasing concerns about the consequences of climate change, households are an important focus for change. There is increasing pressure on households to change lifestyles and adopt behaviours that require less energy and natural resources. At the same time, retailers and producers of consumer goods aim to persuade people to consume more through commercial advertisements. Social science research examining sustainable behaviours often fails to examine the relative influence of both environmental concern and materialism simultaneously. Moreover, most of this research focuses on explaining or promoting behaviours with pro-environmental intent, thereby ignoring many consumer behaviours that may have a significant environmental impact. This article aims to address some of these shortcomings by examining the relationships between materialistic and environmental values and different consumer behaviours. Survey data from 194 individuals from 99 households were analysed. The findings show that quite a number of people express both relatively high levels of environmental concern and relatively high levels of materialism simultaneously. Moreover, materialism and environmental concern appear to be related to different types of behaviours. This raises important questions for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles, which may need to address not only environmental concerns but also materialistic concerns.
      The life histories methodology is a form of oral history which involves the recording of people’s memories and experiences across their lifespan. A life history interview typically examines the interviewee’s family background, memories and experiences of childhood, school, marriage, parenthood, and retirement (if older participants are recruited), as well as present day activities. In the past it has been used as an effective tool by historians to add personal narratives to the more traditional historical content of important events and dates in time (e.g. Portelli, 1991, 1997). But it is a tool which is also beginning to generate excitement within the social sciences, given the depth of data that it can generate. In particular, the historical context which it provides enables us to understand how and when certain behaviours and attitudes may have originated or changed, in addition to information about current practices and behaviours which more traditional psychological approaches provide. The present study was therefore conducted in order to evaluate the possibilities of using the life histories methodology to examine outdoor behaviours. Specifically, the Outdoors and Health Network identified the need to understand why people use greenspace regularly, in order to find ways in which to increase the use of those who seldom utilise these psychologically and physically beneficial areas (e.g. Maas, Verheeij, Groenewegen, de Vries, & Spreeuwenberg, 2006; Ulrich, 1984). Four women aged between 40-55 years were recruited, each of whom reported to regularly carry out one of the following outdoor activities: 1) Gardening / working on allotment; 2) Walking / hiking in areas of wild or spectacular landscapes; 3) Visiting outdoor sites / gardens; 4) Running or dog walking. A variety of activities were chosen in order to test the effectiveness of the methodology at examining different types of outdoor experiences and life histories. Additionally, a woman of the same age group, who reported to use greenspace infrequently, was selected. Participants then took part in a life history interview which lasted between 1-2 hours. The present paper presents results from the study and discusses experiences and applications of using this methodology. We would suggest that this methodology has potential to add to the existing body of knowledge which examines how people interact with their environment, as well as how these interactions may be formed and changed.
      Murtagh N, Gatersleben Birgitta, Uzzell David (2014)A qualitative study of perspectives on household and societal impacts of demand response, In: Technology Analysis & Strategic Management26(10)pp. 1131-1143 Taylor & Francis
      Despite the importance of demand response, there has been little exploration of its potential impact on the individual or society. To address this gap, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 households in the south of England, in which two demand response vignettes were presented: peak pricing and remote demand control during critical peaks. Peak pricing was seen as inequitable, burdening the less affluent, the less healthy, families and working mothers. Adverse societal outcomes may result from peak pricing, with potential for disruption of time-dependent household routines including the socially vital ritual of family mealtimes. Householders perceived their peak-time consumption to be determined by society’s temporal patterns and not within their control to change. Third-party control in demand side management was perceived to contravene householders’ rights of control inside their homes. Alternative approaches to shifting peak demand, which combine technological, economic and socio-psychological insights, are considered.
      Murtagh Niamh, Gatersleben Birgitta, Cowen Laura, Uzzell David Does perception of automation undermine pro-environmental behaviour? Findings from three everyday settings, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology42pp. 139-148 Elsevier
      The global deployment of technology to aid mitigation of climate change has great potential but the realisation of much of this potential depends on behavioural response. A culturally pervasive reliance on and belief in technology raises the risk that dependence on technology will hamper human actions of mitigation. Theory suggests that ‘green’ behaviour may be undermined by automated technology but empirical investigation has been lacking. We examined the effect of automation on three everyday behaviours with environmental impact. Based on evidence from observational and experimental studies, we demonstrated that the prospect of automation can undermine even simple actions for sustainability. Further, we examined the process by which automated technology influences behaviour and found that automation may impair personal responsibility for action.
      White E, Uzzell D, Räthzel N, Gatersleben B (2010)Using life histories in psychology: A methodological guide, In: RESOLVE Working Paper Series(01-10)pp. 1-18 University of Surrey
      Life histories is an extremely rich qualitative methodology which is based on a tradition of storytelling and oral history which dates back thousands of years. It involves the telling of memories and experiences from right across the lifespan, from childhood, through key life events such as marriage and parenthood, to the present day. Its ability to highlight various attitudes, values, and behaviours, as well as to chart their progress and change across the lifespan, makes it an extremely valuable tool for the social sciences. This paper examines some key principles and methodological assumptions of life histories, and suggests some ways in which these differ from those of the dominant discourse in psychology, in order to help social scientists to better understand and apply this methodology within their own research. The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged. This work is part of the interdisciplinary research programme of RESOLVE - the ESRC Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and the Environment.
      Ratcliffe Eleanor, Gatersleben Birgitta, Sowden Paul T. Bird sounds and their contributions to perceived attention restoration and stress recovery, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology36pp. 221-228 Elsevier
      Natural environments, and particularly visual stimuli in nature, are usually perceived as restorative following stress and attention fatigue. Studies extending these findings to auditory natural stimuli have used soundscapes comprising multiple types of sound. Birdsong recurs as a type of sound used in such studies, but little is known about restorative perceptions of bird sounds on their own and how these may relate to existing theories of environmental restoration. Via semi-structured interviews with twenty adult participants, bird songs and calls were found to be the type of natural sound most commonly associated with perceived stress recovery and attention restoration. However, not all bird sounds were regarded as helpful for such processes. Three themes formed the basis of these perceived relationships: affective appraisals, cognitive appraisals, and relationships with nature. Sub-themes of the acoustic, aesthetic, and associative properties of bird sounds were also related to restorative perceptions. Future studies should quantitatively examine the potential of a variety of bird sounds to aid attention restoration and stress recovery, and how these might be predicted by acoustic, aesthetic, and associative properties, in order to better understand how and why sounds such as birdsong might provide restorative benefits. This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/J500148/1]; the National Trust; and the Surrey Wildlife Trust.
      Kumar Prashant, Druckman Angela, Gallagher John, Gatersleben Birgitta, Allison Sarah, Eisenman Theodore S., Hoang Uy, Hama Sarkawt, Tiwari Arvind, Sharma Ashish, Abhijith K V, Adlakha Deepti, McNabola Aonghus, Astell-Burt Thomas, Feng Xiaoqi, Skeldon Anne, de Lusignan Simon, Morawska Lidia (2019)The Nexus between Air Pollution, Green Infrastructure and Human Health, In: Environment International133 A105181 Elsevier
      Cities are constantly evolving and so are the living conditions within and between them. Rapid urbanization and the ever-growing need for housing have turned large areas of many cities into concrete landscapes that lack greenery. Green infrastructure can support human health, provide socio-economic and environmental benefits, and bring color to an otherwise grey urban landscape. Sometimes, benefits come with downsides in relation to its impact on air quality and human health, requiring suitable data and guidelines to implement effective greening strategies. Air pollution and human health, as well as green infrastructure and human health, are often studied together. Linking green infrastructure with air quality and human health together is a unique aspect of this article. A holistic understanding of these links is key to enabling policymakers and urban planners to make informed decisions. By critically evaluating the link between green infrastructure and human health via air pollution mitigation, we also discuss if our existing understanding of such interventions is enabling their uptake in practice. Both the natural science and epidemiology approach the topic of green infrastructure and human health very differently. The pathways linking health benefits to pollution reduction by urban vegetation remain unclear and that the mode of green infrastructure deployment is critical to avoid unintended consequences. Strategic deployment of green infrastructure may reduce downwind pollution exposure. However, the development of bespoke design guidelines is vital to promote and optimize greening benefits and measuring green infrastructure’s socio-economic and health benefits are key for their uptake. Greening cities to mitigate pollution effects is on the rise and these needs to be matched by scientific evidence and appropriate guidelines. We conclude that urban vegetation can facilitate broad health benefits, but there is little empirical evidence linking these benefits to air pollution reduction by urban vegetation, and appreciable efforts are needed to establish the underlying policies, design and engineering guidelines governing its deployment.
      Ratcliffe Eleanor, Gatersleben Birgitta, Sowden Paul T. (2018)Predicting the perceived restorative potential of bird sounds through acoustics and aesthetics, In: Environment and Behavior SAGE Publications
      Some, but not all, bird sounds are associated with perceptions of restoration from stress and cognitive fatigue. The perceptual properties that might underpin these differences are understudied. In this online study, ratings of perceived restorative potential (PRP) and aesthetic properties of 50 bird sounds were provided by 174 residents of the United Kingdom. These were merged with data on objectively measured acoustic properties of the sounds. Regression analyses demonstrated that sound level, harmonics, and frequency, and perceptions of complexity, familiarity, and pattern, were significant predictors of PRP and cognitive and affective appraisals of bird sounds. These findings shed light on the structural and perceptual properties that may influence restorative potential of acoustic natural stimuli. Finally, through their potential associations with meaning, these findings highlight the importance of further study of semantic or meaning-based properties within the restorative environments literature.

      Abstract (Empirical Paper)

      Objective: Exposure to nature has been found to improve mental wellbeing. Biophilia suggests because we evolved with nature, natural features that supported survival are perceived positively. Stress Reduction Theory proposes these features subconsciously reduce stress and improve affect. However, little research has investigated whether features being perceived as survivable is actually necessary for improvements to occur. Study 1 explored which features of a natural environment affect people’s perceptions of how survivable it is. Study 2 aimed to operationalise this to investigate the impact of differentially survivable nature on stress and affect. Restoration ratings were also compared to explore whether survivability may be important in Attention Restoration Theory.

      Design: Study 1: A focus group with a card sorting task. Study 2: a between-subjects design with three conditions: high survivability nature, low survivability nature and urban scenes.

      Participants: Study 1: A self-selected sample of twelve people aged 18-54 (1 male). Study 2: A self-selected sample of 111 people aged 18-81 (87 female).

      Results/Findings: Study 1 discovered twelve themes of environmental factors that impact perceptions of survivability. Study 2: survivability had a significant positive impact on stress and positive affect scores but not on negative affect scores. Survivability also had a significant impact on some ratings of the perceived restorativeness of the environments.

      Conclusions: The results suggest nature should contain features indicative of survival to reduce reported stress and possibly improve positive affect. Such features include water, visibility and refuge opportunities. Survivability may also play some role in ratings of perceived restorativeness.

      Implications: It seems not all nature is equal when it comes to improving mental wellbeing. If planning therapeutic interventions involving nature, particularly for improving stress and positive affect, it may be important to consider utilising nature that has high levels of the factors found here that increase perceptions of survivability.

      Abstract (Literature Review)

      We live in an increasingly urbanised society with decreasing contact with nature. Much research suggests contact with nature has a positive impact on our mental wellbeing. There is evidence that incorporating nature into therapy can have positive outcomes for various populations. This systematic literature review aimed to investigate: how Psychologists are currently incorporating nature in therapy, the patient groups they are using it with and the efficacy of such interventions. Nine papers were found that incorporated nature into psychological therapy and spanned four intervention types: Wilderness Therapy, Horticultural Therapy, Nature Based Therapy and Forest Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Commonly, the role of Psychologists was to deliver psychological therapy in outdoor nature settings alongside other professionals who supported people to actively take part in activities that involved engaging with nature. The exception was Horticultural therapy where traditional talking therapy was not incorporated and the Psychologists’ therapeutic engagement was predominantly planning or supporting people to engage in horticultural tasks. The research studies included here were carried out with young people experiencing psychological distress, adults with chronic schizophrenia, depression, stress-related illnesses and veterans with PTSD. Positive short-term effects for interventions that incorporated nature into therapy were found although the quality of the small research base was medium to low. Study designs meant the direct effect of nature in the therapeutic process could not be drawn out. At present there is not enough evidence to impact therapy guidelines, but the findings suggest incorporating nature into practice is something Psychologists should consider and research further.

      Elf Patrick, Gatersleben Birgitta, Christie Ian (2019)Facilitating Positive Spillover Effects: New Insights From a Mixed-Methods Approach Exploring Factors Enabling People to Live More Sustainable Lifestyles, In: Frontiers in Psychology92699 Frontiers Media
      Positive spillover occurs when changes in one behavior influence changes in subsequent behaviors. Evidence for such spillover and an understanding of when and how it may occur are still limited. This paper presents findings of a 1-year longitudinal behavior change project led by a commercial retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland to examine behavior change and potential spillover of pro-environmental behavior, and how this may be associated with changes in environmental identity and perceptions of ease and affordability as well as perceptions of how participation in the project has helped support behavior change. We draw on both quantitative and qualitative data. Study 1 examines quantitative data from the experimental and a matched control group. Study 2 reports qualitative findings from a follow up interview study with participants of the experimental group. As expected, we found significant changes in reported pro-environmental behavior and identity in the experimental group as well as some indications of behavioral spillover. These changes were not significantly associated with changes in environmental identity. The interviews suggested that group dynamics played an important role in facilitating a sense of efficacy and promoting sustained behavior change and spillover. Moreover, the support by a trusted entity was deemed to be of crucial importance.
      Cowen Laura J. (2020)Householders' perceptions of energy use and energy saving. University of Surrey
      This thesis explored householders' perceptions of energy consumption and saving using novel methods and drawing on cognitive theories of categorisation and heuristics. Judging the energy consumption of household appliances is difficult; judging the effectiveness of energy-saving measures even more so. The research in this thesis proposed, and found support for, a model in which householders try to simplify energy judgements using heuristics. In heuristic energy judgements, people substitute energy consumption or savings with easier-to-access features of appliances and measures. For example, inferring high energy consumption from appliances that produce heat, and high energy savings from measures that reduce heat production. Part I: A systematic literature review of the small amount of existing heuristic energy judgements research identified a common assumption that heuristic feature substitution underlies energy judgements, but there were gaps in how the theory explains energy judgements. A novel theoretical model was constructed using established cognitive theories of categorisation and heuristic judgement making. Mixed methods were used to identify existing and novel heuristic cues used in energy consumption judgements, including the size and heat production of appliances. The heuristic elicitation design and other correlational methods were compared. The difference in coefficients from different methods underlined the importance of selecting appropriate methods for the research question and clear reporting. Part II: Mixed methods were used in a novel exploration of the heuristic cues used in energy savings judgements, including heat reduction, appliance consumption, usage reduction, and measure frequency. A paired comparisons study design enabled a novel multidimensional analysis of heuristic energy savings cues and how they are used. Part III: Householders intuitively try to simplify their energy judgements using heuristics. Giving them more information is unlikely to help. Interventions to help people save more energy need to be designed to work with, not against, the heuristic cues they intuitively use.
      A shift towards sustainable lifestyles is considered to be a major element in the societal effort to decarbonise and avoid potentially disastrous climate change. Often this has been framed as the responsibility of individuals. At the same time, it seems clear that companies have an important role to play in the transition towards a sustainable world. The results and the potential role of a company of enabling citizens to move towards more sustainable lifestyles have been rarely studied in depth. This research aims to fill that gap by focusing on the examination of IKEA’s Live Lagom project. It explored the barriers to, and enabling factors for sustainable lifestyles at home. During a first phase that used an exploratory sequential design, the research confirmed the complexity of barriers and enabling factors. Initial findings indicated that a process of building a shared identity emerged and led to a strengthened motivation to enact further pro-environmental behaviours (i.e. the spillover hypothesis). These results were the basis for a second, explanatory phase which used an explanatory sequential design with a focus on quantitative data. The important role of a pro-environmental identity for the enactment of pro-environmental behaviours was confirmed, and a positive correlation between both was found. However, this was only significant for behaviours that were enacted at home. Additional qualitative evidence suggest that (pro-environmental) behaviour change as well as behavioural spillovers are not a linear process but rather follow a path of ‘adaptive muddling’ (Kaplan, 1990; De Young & Kaplan, 2012) in which a number of possible behaviours are tested in smaller projects. The outcomes suggest that through the support of IKEA operating as a Lifestyle Change Support System this process can be nurtured and potentially accelerated which is necessary in the light of the urgency of adapting less environmental destructive lifestyles. Following a bottom-up approach using empirical evidence from the Live Lagom project as well as a top-down approach that draws on existing literature from across the social sciences, a new framework was developed linking capabilities for living sustainably and commitments that bind individuals and companies alike to a course of action. This framework, Capabilities and Commitments, highlights the need to attend to structural factors as well as individual-level factors when trying to change unsustainable behaviours and lifestyles. The framework is supplemented by a set of nine design principles for corporate interventions for promoting sustainable lifestyles, based on insights from the Live Lagom project.
      Municipal waste production is one of the most widely recognised environmental issues in society today. In the UK, households are responsible for generating millions of tonnes of waste materials each year, with food waste proving to be a particularly problematic waste stream. Local authorities, who are responsible for waste management, have historically relied on changes to physical infrastructure or informational interventions to drive performance improvements. However, in times of increasing financial pressures, there has been a growing recognition that the transition to a sustainable, resilient and resourceful society will require fundamental changes to the way people think and behave. Indeed, what connects many modern-day sustainability challenges are their roots in human behaviour. While various ‘tools of government’ can be employed to realise strategic public policy objectives, emergent localism and the apparent ineffectiveness of this traditional approach catalysed a shift towards ensuring that statutory requirements were delivered more efficiently than ever before. This led to a widespread application of ‘insights’, synthesised from behavioural sciences, to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of new policy interventions. Enthusiasm to the so-called ‘nudge’ approach, which recognises that behaviour can be strongly and automatically influenced by the context in which it is situated, soon trickled down to local government, creating a growing appetite for the approach. These collective ‘behavioural insights’ provided local authorities with a powerful new set of policy tools that, if used correctly, could be used to influence waste behaviours. This research explored their application by evaluating the efficacy and affordability of those nudges that could feasibly be introduced at scale by local authority practitioners to produce a positive and sustained influence on household food waste recycling behaviour. By adopting a mixed-methods approach it was shown that, by making simple changes to the existing ‘choice environment’ in Surrey, it was possible to ‘nudge’ households towards engaging (more) in food waste recycling behaviour. Further, it was found that prompt-based nudges, using stickers as the medium of delivery, were particularly effective, with effects persisting for far longer than has typically been achieved using more ‘traditional’ informational policy interventions. While popular, the practice of ‘nudging’ has a range of issues, both conceptual and controversial, so it is important for policymakers to be aware of the differing philosophies, efficacy, methodologies and ethics associated with these types of intervention. While nudges may not be the ‘silver bullet’, it is argued that they are, at least for now, useful devices for policymakers to have in their ‘toolkit’.
      Gatersleben B, Smalley A, Alcock I, Yeo N.L, White M.P, Dean S.G, Garside R What is the best way of delivering virtual nature for improving mood?: An experimental comparison of high definition TV, 360º video, and computer generated virtual reality, In: Journal of environmental psychology72 Elsevier Ltd
      Exposure to ‘real’ nature can increase positive affect and decrease negative affect, but direct access is not always possible, e.g. for people in health/care settings who often experience chronic boredom. In these settings ‘virtual’ forms of nature may also have mood-related benefits (e.g. reducing boredom) but it has been difficult to separate effects of nature content from those of delivery mode. The present laboratory-based study explored whether exposure to three different delivery modes of virtual nature could reduce negative affect (including boredom) and/or increase positive affect. Adult volunteer participants (n = 96) took part in a boredom induction task (to simulate the emotional state of many people in health/care settings) before being randomly assigned to view/interact with a virtual underwater coral reef in one of three experimental conditions: (a) 2D video viewed on a high-definition TV screen; (b) 3600 video VR (360-VR) viewed via a head mounted display (HMD); or (c) interactive computer-generated VR (CG-VR), also viewed via a HMD and interacted with using a hand-held controller. Visual and auditory content was closely matched across conditions with help from the BBC’s Blue Planet II series team. Supporting predictions, virtual exposure to a coral reef reduced boredom and negative affect and increased positive affect and nature connectedness. Although reductions in boredom and negative affect were similar across all three conditions, CG-VR was associated with significantly greater improvements in positive affect than TV, which were mediated by greater experienced presence and increases in nature connectedness. Results improve our understanding of the importance of virtual nature delivery mode and will inform studies in real care settings. •Virtual marine exposures reduced boredom and improve mood.•Computer-generated Virtual Reality more beneficial than 360º video and standard TV.•Virtual Reality induced presence and increased nature connectedness.•Presence and nature connectedness mediated wellbeing benefits.•Findings could have important implications for people in isolated confined settings.
      Gillis K, Gatersleben Birgitta (2015)A Review of Psychological Literature on the Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Biophilic Design, In: Buildings5(3)pp. 948-963 MDPI AG
      Abstract: Biophilic design has received increasing attention as a design philosophy in recent years. This review paper focused on the three Biophilic design categories as proposed by Stephen Kellert and Elizabeth Calabrese in “The Practice of Biophilic Design”. Psychological, peer reviewed literature supporting the benefits of Biophilic design was searched for through the lens of restorative environments. Results indicate that there exists much evidence supporting certain attributes of Biophilic design (such as the presence of natural elements), while empirical evidence for other attributes (such as the use of natural materials or processes) is lacking. The review concludes with a call for more research on restorative environments and Biophilic design.
      This thesis presents an investigation towards the impact of environment on a musical performance. Drawing from the fields of music performance studies and environmental psychology, this research develops an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how a musical performance is experienced by the performer in different locations. Building on studies towards the effects of acoustical characteristics on musical playing, this research includes real-world environments within the performance research where existing studies have often relied upon simulated acoustical environments. Although some research has acknowledged the psychological influences of environment affecting a performance that cannot be replicated through acoustic simulation, a dedicated study is yet to have been conducted. Adapting theories and methods of environmental psychology, the emotional and psychological influences attached to surrounding environments that are affective in shaping a musical performance are investigated. These include: behaviour settings and socio-normative expectation, cultural significance, and attachment through personal meaning. Theories of interaction are also introduced, demonstrating the intricate person-environment relationship that can occur between a musician and their surroundings. In order to investigate the holistic impact of environment on a musical performance, an experimental test method has been designed to further related studies. Practical testing consists of three main performance and recording stages, titled the ‘Three-Stage Method’. Stage 1 invites eight participating musicians to play three short excerpts of instrumental music of their choosing in a real-world environment. Stage 2 requires repeat performances in a recording studio environment with an acoustic simulation of the previous environment responding in real-time. Stage 3 repeats the performances a third and final time in an unmediated recording studio setting. This method meets the request for real-world environments to be included in music performance research. Comparative analysis suggests that musicians do not necessarily play the same in a real-world environment as they do in an accurate simulation of the same location. Following practical testing, participants complete a post-experiment interview about their experiences throughout the entirety of the experiment. Interviews were semi-structured, allowing the interviewee to expand freely upon the questions asked. The interviews aim to achieve qualitative data regarding the individualistic experiences of each musician involved in the experiment in response to the surrounding environment, revealing aspects of personal meaning and significance otherwise unavailable. This research attends to gaps in both fields of music performance studies and environmental psychology; the need to include real-world environments in addition to acoustic simulations in performance-based experiments, and also to draw attention the importance of sound and acoustics in environmental perception that is relevant beyond music performance.
      White Emma V. (2020)Perceptions of naturalness. University of Surrey

      Examining the benefits of naturalness forms an important part of environmental psychology research, with exposure to naturalness associated with restoration and positive affective quality. But the work of this thesis shows that it is not always clear what is meant by naturalness. Study A (N = 243) revealed several elements of naturalness which cannot be explained by current research, suggesting more work is needed to examine what constitutes naturalness. An in-depth literature review of the operationalisation of naturalness in 95 papers emphasised this need, demonstrating: 1) the interchangeable use of terms for naturalness; 2) a reliance on dichotomous variables; 3) a lack of explicit definitions; and 4) a lack of distinction between perceived and ecological naturalness.

      Addressing these gaps in the literature, a survey was used to develop a new conceptualisation of lay perceived naturalness. Respondents (N = 846) were asked what they thought made a place natural and inductive content analysis used to develop a theme structure to represent these. A card sort study (N = 23) was used to improve this structure. Sixteen themes and 138 subthemes summarised lay perceptions; serving to broaden the conceptualisation beyond that of current research. Some of the most frequently mentioned themes/subthemes reflected those of existing literature, including the absence of humans and their influence, and vegetation. Several novel themes/subthemes were identified (e.g. smells, touch, weather); of use in future research. Humans, their influence and things also formed part of the concept of naturalness, demonstrating the difficulty associated with pitching humanness against naturalness.

      Quantitative analyses showed that various subthemes of lay perceived naturalness were perceived as restorative and of positive affective quality: including elements such as sounds, plants, and water being associated with relaxing environments; and an absence of humans being associated with perceived restoration. These form the basis of recommendations for environmental design.

      This thesis explored the phenomenon of psychological flow as a means to improved well-being with reduced environmental impact. In particular, it was concerned with the how and why materialistic values may influence our ability to experience flow. By analysing experience sampling methodology data, Study 1 demonstrated that engagement in more intense or frequent flow experiences was linked to greater personal well-being. Equally, there was a negative relationship between the extent to which an activity tended to support flow and its environmental impact. Studies 2-4 assessed the nature of the relationship between materialistic values and the tendency to experience flow. A survey found that those individuals displaying the strongest materialistic values tended to be less prone to experiencing flow in their everyday lives. Two experimental studies then found that priming a materialistic mind-set led individuals to report poorer quality flow experiences in a subsequent activity period. A theory to account for why materialistic values undermine flow experiences arose from a number of secondary data analyses. Study 5 tested this theory at the trait level using survey measures. Individuals holding stronger materialistic values were more inclined to use their self-regulatory resources to avoid undesirable thoughts and feelings, which in turn was associated with lower levels of self-regulatory strength to dedicate to flow activities. Study 6 used experimental methods to show that situationally depleting self-regulatory resources through the avoidance of negative states did not undermine the quality of a subsequent flow experience. The six studies show the potential for flow experiences to offer a route towards sustainable prosperity, whilst at the same time revealing the difficulty posed by materialistic values in trying to promote engagement in flow. Findings develop current understandings of the consequences of strong materialistic values and pave the way for interventions to promote engagement in flow and other sustainable behaviours.
      The bicycle is an efficient way to travel. There are individual and population-level health and wellbeing benefits that arise when more people cycle. However, cycling is rare in England and Wales and commuter cyclists are disproportionately likely to be male and middle aged (35 to 49). Society therefore misses out on the wider benefits of higher cycling levels, and women and certain age groups miss out on the individual level benefits. This thesis uses geospatial analysis to examine cycling behaviours at multiple scales, seeking to understand the interactions between demographics and causal factors of commuter cycling mode share. It also examines the influence of vehicular traffic in detail and considers what actions local authorities might take to increase cycling levels. Using both aggregate (area-based) and network (route based) modelling approaches, it identifies that the most important factors influencing cycling behaviours are hilliness, traffic, wealth, temperature and population density. Whilst these and other factors differ somewhat in their relative importance between demographic groups, differences in cycling rates are best explained by group-specific responses to the combined influence of all factors – the relative utility of cycling. On average, women and older (>49) or younger (<35) commuters require a higher level of utility before they start cycling to work. Findings also show how the different traffic characteristics of a commuter’s route to work - such as vehicle speed, volume and direction - have distinct individual and combined influences on cycling propensity. Vehicle speeds are shown to be the most influential traffic characteristic. Policy should work towards making urban areas compact, dense and traffic free, with vehicle speeds under 30kph and with suitable levels of cycling infrastructure along key corridors to work. Urban form should be designed primarily with female cyclists in mind and male cyclists will benefit accordingly.
      GATERSLEBEN BIRGITTA CAROLINA MARIA, Elf Patrick, ISHAM AMY MADELEINE Above and beyond? How businesses can drive sustainable development by promoting lasting pro‐environmental behaviour change: An examination of the IKEA Live Lagom project, In: Business Strategy and the Environmentpp. 1-14 Wiley
      Current global changes require new business approaches driving sustainable development on all fronts. To date, most business approaches have focused on sustainable marketing and corporate social responsibility initiatives. In this field study, we examine IKEA's Live Lagom project, a 3‐year behaviour change initiative that aimed to explore how to go above and beyond conventional approaches demonstrating how businesses could support sustainable development by supporting their customers' attempts to live more sustainable lifestyles. We examined the effectiveness of the project involving multifaceted behaviour change interventions, testing for behavioural changes both during and after the project period. In addition, we explored changes in participants' attitudes towards the company. Findings show that the extensive set of interventions led to changes in pro‐environmental behaviours across all three participant groups with potentially positive impacts on the customer–company relationship. The article thus provides a call for further businesses to engage in similar behaviour change projects that would allow citizens to engage in more sustainable lifestyles and behaviours across contexts.
      Isham Amy, Gatersleben Birgitta, Jackson Tim (2020)Materialism and the Experience of Flow, In: Journal of Happiness Studies Springer
      The need to locate ways of living that can be both beneficial to personal well-being and ecologically sustainable is becoming increasingly important. Flow experiences show promise for the achievement of personal and ecological well-being. However, it is not yet understood how the materialistic values promoted by our consumer cultures may impact our ability to experience flow. A cross-sectional survey of 451 people demonstrated that materialistic values and an individual’s tendency to experience flow were negatively correlated (Study 1). Next we showed that experimentally priming a materialistic mind-set led to poorer quality flow experiences in a sample of students (Study 2) and British adults (Study 3). Our findings add to current understandings of the detrimental consequences of materialistic values and suggest that it is crucial to challenge the materialistic values present within our consumer societies if we are to provide opportunities for experiencing flow.
      Golding Sarah, Gatersleben Birgitta, Cropley Mark (2018)An Experimental Exploration of the Effects of Exposure to Images of Nature on Rumination, In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health15(2) MDPI
      Exposure to natural environments has been shown to have beneficial effects on mood. Rumination is a thinking style associated with negative mood, and sometimes depression, and is characterized by repetitive, intrusive thoughts, often with a negative emotional element. This study investigated whether exposure to nature, operationalized using photographs presented as a slideshow, could aid reduction in levels of state rumination. An experimental, within-between (Time x Condition) participant design was used; participants (n = 58) undertook a presentation task designed to induce rumination and influence mood. Participants were then randomly allocated to either: watch a slideshow of a natural environment, watch a slideshow of an urban environment, or wait patiently with no distractions. Data were collected at baseline, after the presentation, and after the slideshow. Environmental exposure had no effect on levels of rumination or negative mood, but did have a significant effect on levels of positive mood, ‘being away’, and ‘fascination’. Positive mood declined in those who saw the urban slideshow, but remained the same in those who saw the nature slideshow, whilst levels of being away and fascination were highest in those who saw the nature slideshow. This study extends previous restorative environment research by exploring the effects of nature on rumination.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, Greenwood A (2016)Let’s go outside! Environmental restoration amongst adolescents and the impact of friends and phones, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology48pp. 131-139 Elsevier
      Adolescents are experiencing an increasing number of psychological difficulties due to mental fatigue and stress. Natural environments have been found to be beneficial to psychological wellbeing by reducing stress and improving mood and concentration for most people. However, a number of studies have suggested that this may not be the case for adolescents perhaps because they have different social and emotional needs (to be with friends, not to be bored), although evidence is lacking. In a field experiment with 120 16-18 year olds in the UK we tested restoration of stress and mental fatigue in an outdoor or indoor environment, alone, with a friend or while playing a game on a mobile phone. The findings showed greater restoration amongst adolescents who had been in an outdoor setting containing natural elements, compared with those who had been in an indoor one. Moreover, being with a friend considerably increased positive affect in nature for this age group. The findings indicated that spending short school breaks in a natural environment with a friend can have a significant positive impact on the psychological wellbeing of teenagers.
      Andrews M, Gatersleben BCM (2010)Variations in perceptions of danger, fear and preference in a simulated natural environment, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology30(4)pp. 473-481 Elsevier
      Although natural environments can help promote health, they also contain a number of dangers. This study attempted to examine how variations in the physical structure of a simulated natural environment influenced perceptions of both overall and specific types of danger, fear and preference before exploring the relationships between these variables. Three simulated walks through a natural environment differing in levels of prospect-refuge were created for the study. Respondents were randomly assigned to one of the conditions and asked to imagine taking the walk for real. In support of the typology, the results found that the walks with higher levels of prospect-refuge (higher visibility, fewer hiding places and more accessibility) were perceived as less dangerous and fearful and more preferred than walks with lower levels of prospect-refuge. However despite levels of prospect-refuge appearing to impact on the perceived likelihood of encountering a physical danger or becoming lost, they were not found to impact on the perception of encountering a social danger.
      Burningham Kate, Venn Susan, Christie Ian, Jackson Timothy, Gatersleben Birgitta (2014)New motherhood: a moment of change in everyday shopping practices, In: Young Consumers15(3)pp. 211-226 Emerald Publishers

      The purpose of this paper is to draw on data from 16 interviews (two each with eight women) to explore some of the ways in which everyday shopping may change as women become mothers. The meanings, practices and implications of the transition to motherhood have long been a topic for sociological inquiry. Recently, interest has turned to the opportunities offered by this transition for the adoption of more sustainable lifestyles. Becoming a mother is likely to lead to changes in a variety of aspects of everyday life such as travel, leisure, cooking and purchase of consumer goods, all of which have environmental implications. The environmental impacts associated with such changes are complex, and positive moves toward more sustainable activities in one sphere may be offset by less environmentally positive changes elsewhere.


      This paper draws on data from 16 interviews (two each with eight women) to explore some of the ways in which everyday shopping may change as women become mothers.


      This paper focuses on the ways in which modes and meanings of everyday shopping may shift through the transition to mother, and on indicating any potential sustainability implications. The paper explores the adoption of more structured shopping and of shifting the mode of grocery shopping online or offline. The paper draws attention to the way in which practices are embedded and interrelated and argue that more consideration needs to be given to the influence of all household members.


      The question here is not whether women purchase different products or consume more once they have a child, but rather how does the everyday activity of shopping for groceries and the meanings it has change with new motherhood and what sustainability implications might this have? In this context, this paper provides a novel addition to research on new mothers and consumption.

      Bratanova B, Loughnan S, Gatersleben B (2012)The Moral Circle as a Common Motivational Cause of Cross-situational Proenvironmentalism, In: European Journal of Social Psychology42(5)pp. 539-545 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
      Public engagement in pro-environmental behavior and support for pro-environmental policy are essential for achieving sustainable living. We propose that the ‘moral circle’ is a common motivational source for engagement in environmentally beneficial activities across situations, and may be thus drawn upon to efficiently promote these activities. Study 1 established an association between chronic moral circle size and 9 pro-environmental activities from different domains. Via experimental manipulation of the moral circle size, studies 2a-d demonstrated its causal effect on intentions to engage in pro-environmental activities. Together, these studies offer an important initial demonstration of the beneficial consequences of more expansive moral circle in the domain of pro-environmentalism. Routes for expanding the moral circle and thus promoting pro-environmental activities are discussed.
      Grudgings Nick, Hagen-Zanker Alex, Hughes Susan, Gatersleben Birgitta, Woodall Marc, Bryans Will (2018)Why don't more women cycle? An analysis of female and male commuter cycling mode-share in England and Wales, In: Journal of Transport and Health10pp. 272-283 Elsevier
      Women are under-represented in commuter cycling in England and Wales. Consequently, women miss out on the health benefits of active commuting over distances where walking is less practical. Similarly, where cycling could replace motorised forms of transport, society is missing out on the wider health benefits associated with reductions in air pollution, road noise and social severance. This paper uses aggregate (ecological) models to investigate the reasons behind the gender gap in cycling. The relative attractiveness of cycling in different areas is described using a set of 17 determinants of commuter cycling mode share: distance, population density, cycle paths, cycle lanes, traffic density, hilliness, temperature, sun, rain, wind, wealth, lower social status, children, green votes, bicycle performance, traffic risk and parking costs. The correlation between these determinants and census-recorded cycling mode share is examined in logit models for commuters who work 2-5 km from home. The models explain a large share of the variation in cycling levels. There are small but significant differences in the importance of individual determinants between men and women. However, the gender gap is largely explained by a differentiated response to the relative attractiveness of an area for cycling, the sum effect of all determinants. The ratio of male to female cycling rates is greatest in areas that are less attractive for cycling, whereas in the most attractive areas the ratio approaches parity. On average, women require a more conducive environment for cycling than men. Since the typical environment in England and Wales is not conducive for cycling, women are under-represented in commuter cycling rates and miss out on the health dividend. The results suggest improvements to the cycling environment may be moderated by the existing attractiveness of the environment for cycling, with improvements in less attractive areas having a smaller absolute effect on cycling rates.
      Griffin I, Gatersleben BCM (2016)Environmental Stress, In: Fleury-Bahi G, Pol E, Navarro O (eds.), Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research(25)pp. 469-485 Springer
      The physical environment affects people in many ways, how they feel, what they think and how they act. When the demands of the physical environment outweigh an individual’s ability to deal with those demands, stress occurs. Environmental stress refers to a negative subjective psychological response to an environmental stimulus. It is important to note that an environmental stimulus that is stressful for one person in a particular situation may not be stressful for another or for the same person in a different situation. As such, environmental stress is an interaction between an individual and an external stimulus. This chapter gives an overview of theories and research on environmental stress in environmental psychology. After providing a definition of environmental stress, the chapter discusses the conditions under which stress may occur and then goes on to describe in more detail different environmental stressors that have been examined in the literature. Environmental stress has been studied in many different indoor, outdoor and virtual settings, including work and residential environments. It has been studied in laboratory studies as well as in the field and has been an important area of research for many decades which continues to this day.
      Gatersleben B (2008)Humans and nature; Ten useful findings from Environmental Psychology research, In: Counselling Psychology Review23(2)pp. 24-34 The British Psychological Society
      It is now generally accepted that human activities are damaging the natural environment we live in and the natural resources that we depend upon. In the long run this development can have severe consequences for the quality of human life; indirectly, by depleting the natural resources necessary to sustain our material welfare, but also directly by damaging the quality of the natural environment (air, water, nature) in which we live. The presence of sustainability and global climate change on the political agenda has led to an increase in academic research on the relationship between people and their natural environment. Environmental psychologists study the interaction between people and their physical (built or natural) environment. This paper presents ten findings of environmental psychology research on people and their natural environment. Nature in this paper refers to any non-human living environmental features including plants, trees, water features, but also animals. However, the majority of research in this area focuses on green nature: i.e., the presence of plants and trees in the environment. This paper shows that most people are drawn towards natural environments and that passive as well as active exposure to the natural world has beneficial effects on the health and well-being of individuals (for overviews see Maller, Townsend, Pryor, Brown and St Leger (2005), Kahn (1997), Ulrich (1993) and Frumkin (2001). The paper will also show that although there is a lot we know, there is also a lot we don’t know, particularly in relation to the psychological processes which underlie the interaction between people and the natural 2 environment. This is just one of the potential areas wherein environmental and counselling psychologists might collaborate.
      Shaw B, Coyle A, Gatersleben B, Ungar S (2014)Exploring nature experiences of people with visual impairments, In: Psyecology: Bilingual Journal of Environmental Psychology5 Fundacion Infancia y Aprendizaje
      The positive psychological and physical health effects associated with exposure to natural environments are well recognised. However, previous research in this field has focused almost exclusively upon the visual aspects of the environment, largely ignoring the role of the other senses. This paper reassesses these findings by examining the role senses other than sight play in blind people’s experiences of natural environments. Six people with visual impairments were interviewed regarding their experience of natural environments; interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis revealed that if the participants felt safe, they reported experiencing restorative effects in the majority of natural environments. Three main themes that contribute to an understanding of the processes involved in psychological restoration emerged: restoration, challenges, sources of experiences. Environmental restoration was reported by participants as being mostly experienced through sound and to a lesser extent through touch and smell.
      White E, Gatersleben BCM (2011)Greenery on UK Residential Buildings: Does it affect preferences and perceptions of beauty?, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology31(1)pp. 89-98 Elsevier
      Recently there has been a surge in the number of green roofs and façades (vegetation on the roofs & walls of a building) installed in the UK, with advocation of their use by policy-makers and claims that they are aesthetically pleasing and promote restoration. But these claims rely on generalisations from different landscapes, raising concerns about validity. The present study examined whether houses with vegetation would be more preferred than those without, be perceived as more beautiful and restorative, and have a more positive affective quality. Differences between types of building-integrated vegetation were also examined. Two studies were conducted: an online survey in which participants (N = 188) rated photographs of houses with and without vegetation on each of these measures, and interviews (N = 8) which examined preference and installation concerns. Results showed that houses with (some types of) building-integrated vegetation were significantly more preferred, beautiful, restorative, and had a more positive affective quality than those without. The ivy façade and meadow roof rated highest on each. These findings are consistent with other areas of landscape research and the claims of those in the industry, and suggest that building-integrated vegetation would be a valuable addition to the urban environment.
      Isham Amy, Gatersleben Birgitta, Jackson Tim (2018)Flow activities as a route to living well with less, In: Environment and Behavior SAGE Publications
      Research suggests that the excessive focus on the acquisition of material goods promoted by our consumer capitalist society may be detrimental to well-being. Current Western lifestyles, which promote unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, therefore risk failing to bring citizens the happiness they are striving for. Csikszentmihalyi (2004) suggested that engaging in challenging, flow-conducive activities is a means by which individuals can improve their well-being without substantially impacting the environment. In this paper we test this proposal by examining data concerning the daily experiences and well-being of 500 US families. We show that individuals who experience stronger characteristics of flow in their leisure activities tend to have greater momentary well-being and that those experiencing flow more frequently tend to report greater retrospective well-being. Moreover, a small negative relationship was found between an activity’s flow score and its environmental impact. The analysis allows us to identify a specific group of activities that are highly conducive to the experience of flow while having a low environmental impact.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, Jackson Tim, Meadows Jesse, Soto Elena, Yang Ying (Lily) (2018)Leisure, materialism, wellbeing and the environment, In: European Review of Applied Psychology / Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée68(3)pp. 131-139 Elsevier


      There are increasing concerns that people in modern societies spend too much of their leisure time on activities such as shopping and watching television and that this undermines human wellbeing and damages the environment.


      This paper explores the relationships between materialism, environmental values and life satisfaction on the one hand, and different forms of leisure activities on the other. In particular, it addresses the differences between serious or intrinsically motivating leisure activities and casual or extrinsically motivating activities.


      Three survey studies were conducted among 16 to 25 year olds in the UK (n = 338), Spain (n = 417) and China (n = 961).


      Reading books was negatively related to materialism and positively to environmental values and behaviours. Playing sports was associated with higher wellbeing. Moreover, materialism was negatively associated with environmental values and behaviour. Life satisfaction was higher among those with stronger environmental values and weaker materialism.


      The findings suggest that sustainable lifestyles, characterised by higher wellbeing, higher environmental concern and behaviour and lower materialism can be found in each nation. Moreover, such lifestyles are associated with different kinds of leisure engagement. Examining the potentially positive role of reading books rather than being immersed in screen time deserves further attention.

      Gatersleben B, Appleton KM (2007)Contemplating cycling to work: Attitudes and perceptions in different stages of change, In: Transportation Research Part a-Policy and Practice41(4)pp. 302-312
      In 1996 the UK government introduced the National Cycle Strategy which aimed to double the number of cycling trips by the end of 2002 and double them again by 2012. So far, however, these targets have not been met. The House of Commons ascribes this to 'a fundamental lack of commitment to cycling on an individual, regional and national level'. This paper addresses the individual level by examining the views of commuters in different stages of change as distinguished by Prochaska's model [Prochaska, J.O., DiClemente, C.C., 1984. The Transtheoretical Approach: Crossing Traditional Boundaries of Change. Dow Jones/Irwin, Homewood IL]. This model views behaviour change as a process rather than an event. Two studies were conducted amongst university staff and students: a survey study and an action study. The studies showed that as people progress front precontemplation to action their attitudes towards cycling become more positive and their perceptions of various personal and external barriers change. This suggests that different strategies are necessary to move people in different stages of change to action and maintenance. At the moment, it seems that regular cyclists form a very small minority of people who will cycle under most circumstances simply because they like cycling. The majority of people have never contemplated cycling. There is, however, also a group of people who would like to cycle and could be persuaded to cycle under the right circumstances. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
      Gatersleben BCM (2001)Sustainable household consumption and quality of life: The acceptability of sustainable consumption patterns and consumer policy strategies., In: International Journal of Environment and Pollution15(2)pp. 200-216
      Gatersleben B, Andrews M (2013)When walking in nature is not restorative - the role of prospect and refuge, In: Health and Place20pp. 91-101 Elsevier
      People tend to recover more quickly from stress and mental fatigue in natural than in urban environments. But natural environments may not always be restorative. Dense wooded areas may evoke fear and stress and require directed attention to avoid getting lost or tripping over. Little is known about the restorative potential of such environments. Two experiments were conducted to examine restoration in natural settings with different levels of accessibility, prospect (clear field of vision) and refuge (places to hide). An on-line survey (n=269) examined perceived restoration of environments presented in a slide show. An experiment examined actual restoration in response to walks in a real outdoor setting (n=17) and in response to videos of the same walks (in a laboratory; n=17). The findings demonstrate that exposure to natural environments with high levels of prospect and low levels of refuge, is indeed restorative. However, exposure to natural environments low in prospect and high in refuge is not, and may even further increase levels of stress and attention fatigue. These findings demonstrate that natural places may not always be restorative places.
      Gatersleben BCM (2007)Affective and symbolic aspects of car use: a review, In: Garling T, Steg L (eds.), Threats to the Quality of Urban Life from Car Traffic: Problems, Causes, and Solutionspp. 219-234
      Gatersleben B (2004)Psychological theories for environmental issues, In: Environmental Values13(4)pp. 547-550
      Gatersleben Birgitta, Murtagh N, Cherry M, Watkins M (2017)Moral, wasteful, frugal, or thrifty? Identifying consumer identities to understand and manage pro-environmental behavior, In: Environment and Behavior51(1)pp. 24-49 Sage Publications
      Moral motives are important for pro-environmental behavior. But such behavior is not only motivated by moral or environmental concerns. We examined what higher-order motives, other than morality, may be important for understanding pro-environmental behavior, by studying consumer identities. In three studies (N = 877) four consumer identities were distinguished: moral, wasteful, frugal, and thrifty. Frugal and moral consumer identities were most salient and were the strongest predictors of pro-environmental behaviors, but in different ways. Frugality, which is related to, but distinct from thriftiness, was particularly important for behaviors associated with waste reduction of any kind (including money). The findings suggest that people adopt the same behavior for different reasons, in ways consistent with their consumer identities. People manage multiple consumer identities simultaneously and environmental policy is likely to be more effective if it addresses these multiple identities.
      Gatersleben BCM, Steg L, Vlek C (2002)The measurement and determinants of environmentally significant consumer behaviour, In: Environment and Behavior34(4)pp. 335-362
      Druckman Angela, Gatersleben Birgitta A time-use approach: high subjective wellbeing, low carbon leisure., In: Journal of Public Mental Health18(2)pp. 85-93 Emerald Publishing Limited

      Purpose: This paper addresses the question: which leisure activities are relatively low carbon and conducive to high levels of subjective wellbeing? Underlying this question is the premise that to combat climate change, carbon emissions must be radically reduced. Technological change alone will not be sufficient: lifestyles must also change. Whereas mainstream strategies generally address the challenge of reducing carbon emissions through reviewing consumption, approaching it through the lens of how we use our time, in particular, leisure time, may be a promising complementary avenue.

      Design/methodology/approach: The paper brings together three areas of research that are hitherto largely unlinked: subjective wellbeing/happiness studies, studies on how we use our time, and studies on low-carbon lifestyles.

      Findings: The paper shows that low carbon leisure activities conducive to high subjective wellbeing include social activities such as spending time in the home with family and friends, and physical activities that involve challenge such as partaking in sports. However, depending how they are done, some such activities may induce high carbon emissions, especially through travel. Therefore appropriate local infrastructure, such as local sports and community centres are required, along with facilities for active travel. Policy-making developed from a time-use perspective would encourage investment to support this.

      Originality/value: Win-win opportunities for spending leisure time engaged in activities conducive to high subjective wellbeing in low carbon ways are identified. This is done by bringing three research topics together in a novel way.

      Murtagh Niamh, Gatersleben Birgitta, Fife-Schaw Chris (2019)Occupants’ motivation to protect residential building stock from climate-related overheating: A study in southern England, In: Journal of Cleaner Production226pp. 186-194 Elsevier
      Temperate zones including the UK and mainland Europe continue to be exposed to increasing temperatures and more frequent heatwaves as global warming continues. The built environment can mitigate the public health risk of overheating and recommendations for precautionary actions on homes have been published by government and industry. A key player in improving resilience is the householder, who can determine whether precautionary measures will be installed in their home. Previous research on flooding has applied Protection Motivation Theory to examine determinants of householder response to risk. However, flooding risks differ from those of overheating in several ways. The current study builds on this work to address the gap on understanding householder propensity to install precautionary measures against overheating. A large-scale survey (n = 1007) of householders was conducted in the south of England and regression analyses applied to the data. While threat appraisal (perception of threat risk and severity) had an influence on motivation to take action, coping appraisal (perception of ability to make changes, of the effectiveness of the changes and of convenience) was a stronger predictor, particularly for flat dwellers. Previous experience of overheating did not directly influence protection motivation. Age was negatively related to intentions to act but income was not a significant factor. Recommendations for policy and practice include focusing on enhancing coping appraisal, targeting older citizens, customising initiatives by type of property and occupancy, and framing mitigating actions in ways other than protection from overheating.
      Canning PE, Hellawell EE, Hughes SJ, Gatersleben BCM, Fairhead CJ (2010)'Devolution' of transport powers to Local Government: Impacts of the 2004 Traffic Management Act in England, In: TRANSPORT POLICY17(2)pp. 64-71 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
      Gatersleben B, Murtagh N, Abrahamse W (2012)Values, Identity and Pro-Environmental Behaviour, In: Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences Routledge, Taylor & Francis
      The importance of understanding and promoting pro-environmental behaviour among individual consumers in modern Western Societies is generally accepted. Attitudes and attitude change are often examined to help reach this goal. But although attitudes are relatively good predictors of behaviour and are relatively easy to change they only help explain specific behaviours. More stable individual factors such as values and identities may affect a wider range of behaviours. In particular factors which are important to the self are likely to influence behaviour across contexts and situations. This paper examines the role of values and identities in explaining individual pro-environmental behaviours. Secondary analyses were conducted on data from three studies on UK residents, with a total of 2694 participants. Values and identities were good predictors of pro-environmental behaviour in each study and identities explain pro-environmental behaviours over and above specific attitudes. The link between values and behaviours was fully mediated by identities in two studies and partially mediated in one study supporting the idea that identities may be broader concepts which incorporate values. The findings lend support for the concept of identity campaigning to promote sustainable behaviour. Moreover, it suggests fruitful future research directions which should explore the development and maintenance of identities.
      Canning PE, Hughes SJ, Hellawell EE, Gatersleben BCM, Fairhead CJ (2010)Reasons for participating in formal employer-led carpool schemes as perceived by their users, In: Transportation Planning and Technology33(8)pp. 733-745
      Cowen Laura, Gatersleben Birgitta (2017)Testing for the size heuristic in householders' perceptions of energy consumption, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology54pp. 103-115 Elsevier
      Few householders have the time or motivation to systematically weigh up all the facts when judging the energy consumption of their household appliances. It is likely that they instead rely on simple heuristics such as the size heuristic, which has been reported in a small number of previous studies. The studies showed that people’s perceptions of the size and energy consumption of appliances were positively correlated but the studies differed in their methods and effect sizes. The present study re-tests the use of the size heuristic using two methods of data collection (between-participants and within-participants) and three methods of correlation. On average, correlations between size and energy estimates were moderately strong but they (and the accuracy of the energy estimates) varied greatly between individual participants. Understanding householders’ perceptions of energy is vital to designing more effective energy-saving policies. The findings highlight the importance of choosing and clearly reporting methods.
      Sorrell Steve, Gatersleben Birgitta, Druckman Angela (2018)Energy sufficiency and rebound effects European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE)

      This concept paper discusses how energy sufficiency and the rebound effect interact.

      Rebound effects can constrain the energy savings from energy efficiency improvements. The paper examines the nature of these effects, and ask the question: can greater use of sufficiency policies and actions help to tackle negative rebounds, or will it create rebounds itself?

      Ratcliffe Eleanor, Gatersleben Birgitta, Sowden Paul T. (2016)Associations with bird sounds: How do they relate to perceived restorative potential?, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology Elsevier
      Bird sounds are related to perceptions of attention restoration and stress recovery, but the role of associations in such perceptions is understudied. 174 adult residents of the United Kingdom rated 50 bird sounds on perceived restorative potential (PRP) and provided qualitative data on associations with each sound. Bird sounds were associated with imagined environments, birds and other animals, time and season, and activities within the environment. Bird sounds rated as high in PRP were associated with green spaces, spring and summer, daytime, and active behaviours in the environment. Low-PRP bird sounds were associated with exotic and marine environments, nonavian animals, and showed a non-significant trend towards associations with negative bird behaviour. These findings highlight connections between semantic values and restorative perceptions of natural stimuli. Such connections can inform top-down approaches to study of restorative environments and may benefit conservationists seeking to improve bonds between people and wildlife.
      Morten A, Gatersleben Birgitta, Jessop D (2018)Staying grounded? Applying the theory of planned behaviour to explore motivations to reduce air travel, In: Transportation Research Part F55pp. 297-305 Elsevier
      Air travel has been highlighted as a key environmental behaviour contributing to climate change. Given this, there is a surprising lack of theory-based research aimed at identifying factors that underpin motivation to reduce the number of flights taken. This study explored whether an extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model could be usefully applied to identify significant predictors of intentions to reduce the number of flights taken for leisure, holidays or to visit family or friends. Results supported the predictive utility of the TPB; the extended model was able to account for 52% of the variance in intentions over and above past behaviour and socio-demographic variables. Attitudes, subjective norms and behaviour-specific self-identity emerged as significant linear predictors. Findings support the utility of applying the TPB to air travel and suggest key variables which could be targeted in interventions to promote motivation to reduce the number of flights taken.
      Gatersleben B, Murtagh N, White E (2013)Hoody, goody or buddy? How travel mode affects social perceptions in urban neighbourhoods, In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour21pp. 219-230 Elsevier
      When travelling through a new environment people can and do make very quick judgements about the local conditions. This paper explores the idea that such judgements are affected by the travel mode they use. We hypothesise that drivers generate a more superficial impression of the things they observe than those who walk because they are exposed to less information. This prediction is based on social psychological research that demonstrates that information that becomes available in "thin slices" affects superficial judgements. A survey study (n = 644) demonstrated that perceptions of a less affluent area are indeed negatively related to more driving and positively related to more walking, but only for those who do not live there. Perceptions of a neighbouring affluent area are positively related to more driving. Two experimental studies (n = 245 and n = 91) demonstrated that explicit (but not implicit) attitudes towards a group of young people in an ambiguous social situation are more negative when they are viewed from the perspective of a car user in particular in relation to a pedestrian perspective. These findings suggest that mode use may affect communities by influencing social judgements. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
      Parker Natasha, Kasser Tim, Bardi Anat, Druckman Angela, Gatersleben Birgitta Goals for Good: Testing an Intervention to Reduce Materialism in Three European Countries., In: Europen Journal of Applied Positive Psychology National Wellbeing Service
      Background Materialism is associated with a broad range of negative outcomes for individuals, societies, and the planet. We therefore experimentally tested whether a three-session intervention could cause sustained reductions in materialism. Methods Employed young adults (aged 18-30) in three European countries (UK, Italy, Hungary) were either encouraged to set intrinsic goals and reflect on self-transcendence values or were assigned to an active control group. We measured materialistic value and goal orientations, and we followed up two months after the completion of the intervention. Results Participants in the experimental group significantly decreased in their materialistic goal orientation by the end of the intervention and 2 months later, but showed no significant changes in their materialistic value orientation. Among the active control group, no changes in materialistic goal or value orientations were noted. Findings were independent of the cultures studied, of commitment to, self-concordance with, and progress made on chosen goals, and of engagement in the intervention. Conclusion This study demonstrated that encouraging and activating self-transcendence values and intrinsic goals is an effective strategy to reduce a materialistic goal orientation. This result was robust across a range of potential moderating factors, which suggests this intervention may be widely useful to reduce a materialistic goal orientations. We discuss why the intervention may have reduced materialistic goal orientations but not materialistic value orientations.
      GATERSLEBEN BIRGITTA CAROLINA MARIA Social-symbolic and affective aspects of car ownership and use, In: Encyclopedia of Transportation
      People buy and drive cars for many reasons. Instrumental factors such as cost and speed are important, but social-symbolic factors such as status and affective aspects such as driving pleasure and control also play a significant role in understanding car ownership and use. The (perceived) value of cars as symbols of personality or status influence car purchases and car use as well as social interactions. High-status cars (expensive, luxury and technologically advanced) can affect a driver’s attractiveness as well as levels of aggressive driving both by the car owner and others. Through car use, experience and symbolic factors people can become strongly attached to their cars, which affects response to travel demand management strategies.
      Sorrell Steve, Gatersleben Birgitta, Druckman Angela The limits of energy sufficiency: A review of the evidence for rebound effects and negative spillovers from behavioural change, In: Energy Research and Social Science Elsevier
      ‘Energy sufficiency’ involves reducing consumption of energy services in order to minimise the associated environmental impacts. This may either be through individual actions, such as reducing car travel, or through reducing working time, income and aggregate consumption (‘downshifting’). However, the environmental benefits of both strategies may be less than anticipated. First, people may save money that they can spend on other goods and services that also require energy to provide (rebounds). Second, people may feel they have ‘done her bit’ for the environment and can spend time and money on more energy-intensive goods and activities (spillovers). Third, people may save time that they can spend on other activities that also require energy to participate in (time-use rebounds). This paper reviews the current state of knowledge on rebounds and spillovers from sufficiency actions, and on time-use rebounds from downshifting. It concludes that: first, rebound effects can erode a significant proportion of the anticipated energy and emission savings from sufficiency actions; second, that such actions appear to have a very limited influence on aggregate energy use and emissions; and third, that downshifting should reduce energy use and emissions, but by proportionately less than the reduction in working hours and income.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, Griffin Isabelle (2016)Environmental Stress, In: Fleury-Bahi G, Pol E, Navarro O (eds.), Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research1pp. 469-485 Springer
      The physical environment affects people in many ways, how they feel, what they think and how they act. When the demands of the physical environment outweigh an individual’s ability to deal with those demands, stress occurs. Environmental stress refers to a negative subjective psychological response to an environmental stimulus. It is important to note that an environmental stimulus that is stressful for one person in a particular situation may not be stressful for another or for the same person in a different situation. As such, environmental stress is an interaction between an individual and an external stimulus. This chapter gives an overview of theories and research on environmental stress in environmental psychology. After providing a definition of environmental stress, the chapter discusses the conditions under which stress may occur and then goes on to describe in more detail different environmental stressors that have been examined in the literature. Environmental stress has been studied in many different indoor, outdoor and virtual settings, including work and residential environments. It has been studied in the laboratory as well as in the field and has been an important area of research for many decades, which continues to this day.
      Canning PE, Hellawell EE, Hughes SJ, Fairhead CJ, Gatersleben BCM, Brebbia CA (2007)The implementation of the Traffic Management Act in England: the role of technology, In: URBAN TRANSPORT XIII96pp. 381-390
      Anable J, Gatersleben B (2005)All work and no play? The role of instrumental and affective factors in work and leisure journeys by different travel modes, In: Transportation Research Part a-Policy and Practice39(2-3)pp. 163-181
      This paper examines the relative importance that people attach to various instrumental and affective journey attributes when travelling either for work or for a leisure day trip and presents how journeys by various travel modes score on these attributes. Although not a comparative paper, data are presented for two studies which used some identical measurements: one on commuter journeys and one on leisure journeys. The results show that for work journeys, respondents tend to attach more importance to instrumental aspects, and especially to convenience than to affective factors. For leisure journeys, however, respondents appear to attach almost equal importance to instrumental and affective aspects, particularly flexibility, convenience, relaxation, a sense of freedom and 'no stress'. Each study also examines (i) how regular users' evaluate their own mode and (ii) how car users perceive the performance of alternative modes compared to their importance ratings. This 'gap' analysis reveals on which modes and for which attributes the greatest deficiencies in performance lie. The data for both the work and leisure studies shows that for car users, alternative transport modes are inferior on the salient attributes such as convenience and flexibility even though car users rate modes such as walking and cycling as performing well, if not, better, on less important attributes such as the environment, health and even excitement. Nevertheless, for those who cycle and walk regularly, satisfaction with their own travel mode as measured by the gap between importance and performance on salient attributes is better than for those who mostly use the car. Conclusions are made as to how greater attention to affective factors may improve our understanding of mode choice. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
      Gatersleben Birgitta, Opitz Bertram, Myers Andy, Wyles Kayleigh Why are places so special? Uncovering how our brain reacts to meaningful places, In: Landscape and Urban Planning Elsevier
      People are drawn toward personally meaningful places. Seeing or remembering those places improves mood and supports wellbeing. But existing evidence relies on self-reports and comparisons with unpleasant places. Using brain imaging techniques, we examined reactions towards images of personally meaningful places, meaningful objects, neutral places and objects, and pre-validated (IAPS) images, among 19 volunteers (10 female) between 19 and 53 years old. A whole brain analysis showed that meaningful places and IAPS images elicited the largest response in the amygdala, associated with the processing of emotion. Similarly high activity was found for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC),associated with self-referential processing, emotional appraisal, and memory processing. This was not found for meaningful objects or neutral places. The parahippocampal place area (PPA) showed enhanced activity only to personally meaningful places. Personally meaningful places clearly evoke distinctive neurological responses supporting the importance of this holistic and complex concept for human wellbeing.
      This thesis examined whether bird sounds are perceived and experienced as restorative following stress and cognitive fatigue, and reasons for such perceptions. Study 1 (N = 20) qualitatively explored restorative perceptions of bird sounds. These arose based on cognitive and affective appraisals of the sounds, and on relationships with nature. Restorative perceptions of bird sounds varied between species as a result of their acoustic, aesthetic, and associative properties. Study 2A (N = 174) quantitatively demonstrated that smoothness, intensity, complexity, pattern, and familiarity were significant predictors of restorative perceptions of bird sounds. Study 2B (N = 116) complemented these results by qualitatively examining associations with the sounds, which were summarised by four master themes: environment, animals, time and season, and environmental activities. Birds perceived as differently restorative in Study 2A were dissociable on the basis of different associations within these master themes. Study 3 (N = 102) experimentally examined the effects of associations on restorative perceptions of bird sounds. Bird sounds associated with positive scenarios were perceived as more restorative than those associated with negative scenarios. Scenarios describing the presence versus absence of threat, and associations with natural versus urban environments, were found to be particularly influential. Study 4 (N = 36) experimentally examined restorative outcomes in response to bird sounds. Listening to birdsong significantly reduced self-reported negative affect in comparison to traffic sounds, but no significant differences were found between sounds in terms of change in positive affect, arousal, or cognition. Qualitative data indicated that listening to the two types of sound generated different imagery of wider natural and urban environments. These four studies reveal the importance of bird sounds in perceptions and experiences of restoration, and the contributions of their acoustic, aesthetic and semantic properties to such perceptions – including associations with wider, multi-sensory environments.
      This portfolio contains a collection of work written and submitted for the Practitioner Doctorate in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology at the University of Surrey. It consist the research dossier, all of which have been reworked and amended according to the feedback that was received at the time. The research dossier includes my literature review, one qualitative study and a quantitative study. The literature explores the relationship between ecopsychology and mental health problems such as depression, stress and psychological trauma. This is then followed by a study which explores depressed individuals’ relationship with nature. The final piece of research investigates the restorative effects of spending time in nature on the mood of depressed individuals.

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