Dr Sabine Pahl
Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology
School of Psychology (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)
International Student Recruitment and Exchange Representative; International Tutor (School of Psychology)
Research Committee (School of Psychology)
Internationalisation Committee (Faculty of Science and Technology)
Member of the Management Group Institute for Sustainability Solutions (ISSR)
since 2012 Reader / Associate Professor in Psychology, Plymouth University, UK
2006-2012 Lecturer in Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK
2003-2006 Lecturer in Psychology, University of Erlangen, Germany
2002-2003 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Sheffield, UK
2002 PhD in Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK
1999 Diplom in Psychology, University of Bremen, Germany
1998 MSc in Social and Applied Psychology, University of Kent, UK
UK Society for Behavioural Medicine (UKSBM)
European Social Cognition Network (ESCON)
Psychological Society (BPS); BPS Cognitive Section; BPS Social Section
International Social Cognition Network (ISCON)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs); Fachgruppe Umweltpsychologie
European Association for Decision Making (EADM)
European Association of Experimental Social Psychology (EAESP)
Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS)
IAPS Restorative Environments Network
Roles on external bodies
Honorary Associate Professor, University of Exeter since 2015
Member of the ESRC Peer Review College since 2015
Member of GESAMP Working Group 40 since 2015
Advisory Panel member for EPSRC-funded TEDDINET since 2014
Secretary of the International Association of Applied Psychology (http://www.iaapsy.org/) Environmental Division since 2014
Member of the Editorial Board for Environment & Behaviour since 2014
Member of the International Energy Agency’s DSM task 24 Behaviour Change since 2013
Affiliate Member of the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, University of British Columbia, Canada. since 2011
Affiliate Member of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, Exeter Medical School since 2010
Visiting Lecturer, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada March 2011
Keywords: Social Cognition; self-positivity biases (e.g. unrealistic optimism, the better-than-average effect); behaviour change; psychology of sustainability; restorative effects of natural environments.
Research focus. I am a Social Psychologist covering basic and applied research. My applied work focuses on attitudes and behaviour change, particularly in the area of energy efficiency and protecting marine environments. Other applied work examines restorative effects of natural environments including the use of natural environments in healthcare. My basic research is in social cognition,e.g., construal level and memory and self-other biases such as unrealistic optimism.
Grants & Publications. I’ve been involved in attracting research funding in excess of £7m since 2010 (approx. £2m as Principal Investigator) from EPSRC,ESRC, DEFRA, DECC, FP7 and H2020. Peer-review publications since 2010 include papers in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Environment & Behavior,Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Psychology & Health.
Impact. Our role in MARLISCO was to evaluate science-in-society activities regarding marine litter in 14 European countries plus Turkey, summarised in a guide for influencing behaviour. Within the eViz-project we have run field studies with the Eden Project / DECC and Plymouth City Council, and a >5,000 home trial run in collaboration with the Behavioural Insights Team. My former PhD student Kayleigh Wyles and I are the only two social scientists involved in the United Nations GESAMP Working Group 40 on microplastics, and the Phase 1 report contains our recommendation for more behavioural science. I was the lead convenor for two sessions (behaviour change and perceptions of climate change) at the UNFCC COP21 science conference in Paris in July 2015, which summarised the science to inform the COP 21 policy meeting in December that year.
Sustainability & Psychology group, see http://psychology.plymouth.ac.uk/research/working-groups/sustainability/
- Dr. Christine Boomsma, RF eViz http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/gtboomsma
- Dr. Julie Goodhew RF eViz http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/jagoodhew
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Current PhD students:
- Debbie Cracknell (Director of Studies; P/T since Oct 2010): The restorative potential of subaquatic environments.
- Carolyn Arnold (Falmouth College; co-supervisor; F/T since Oct 2011): Storytelling as a paradigm for promoting pro-environmental behaviour
- Hazel Gibson (SoGEES - CRES; co-supervisor; F/T since Sept 2012). Underground Britain.
external PhDs examined:
Grants & contracts
Fuertes, A. et al. EnerGAware: Energy Game for Awareness of energy efficiency in social housing communities. Feb 2015 - Feb 2018, Plymouth work package 300k in €2m EU H2020 project.
Anderson, A. et al. (2015). Public perception of microbeads. ISSR small grant, Plymouth University, £2.5k.
Goodhew, J. et al. (2015). Solar gain visualised through thermal imaging. ISSR small grant, Plymouth University, £3k.
Pahl, S., de Wilde, P. et al. eViz – EnergyVisualisation for Carbon Reduction (2012-2016). EPSRC multi-centre grant with the Universities of Bath, Birmingham and Newcastle £1,876,000, with £1,125,000 to Plymouth. (Post docs Christine Boomsma and Julie Goodhew).
Thompson, R. C. & Pahl, S. (2012-2015). Marine Litter in European Seas: Social Awareness and Co-Responsibility (MARLISCO). Plymouth Work Package £300k in £4,100,000 EU-FP7 Grant. (Post doc Bonny Hartley and Research Assistant Matthew Holland).
White, M. P., Pahl, S. & Depledge, M (2010-2016). The restorative potential of sub-aquatic environments. Studentship awarded by NMA: Deborah Cracknell.
Thompson, R. C. & Pahl, S. (2014). Evaluation of Fishing for Litter programme (variation). DEFRA: 19k. Research Assistant: Kayleigh Wyles then Lauren Carroll.
Pahl, S. & Carroll, L. (2013). SmallEvaluation of Stepping Stones programme. Plymouth City Council, SteppingStones: 2.5k. RA: Lauren Carroll.
Attrill, M., Pahl, S., Thompson, R. C. & Wyles, K. (2013). The benefits of engaging with the Marine Centre at Wembury Beach. University of Plymouth Community Research Award: £9k. Research Assistant: Lauren Carroll.
Goodhew, S., Pahl, S. & De Wilde, P. (2013). Thermal imaging intervention as part of Cornwall together. Eden Project, funding from DECC, £65k.
Pahl, S. & Thompson, R. (2010-13). Human Well-being and Habitat Threat in Marine Environments. ESRC/NERC Studentship: Kayleigh Wyles.
Pahl, S., White, M. P., Andrade, J. & May, J.(2010-13). Dental anxiety, nature exposure and virtual reality. (University of Plymouth: approx. £100k [postdoc Karin Tanja-Dijkstra]).
White, M. P., Pahl, S. & Depledge, M. (2010-13). Blue Gym: The health and well-being effects of blue space. (University ofPlymouth: approx. £120k [post doc Kat Ashbullby]).
Wyer, N., Pahl, S. & Perfect, T. (2010-13). Construal, processing style and memory for social events.(ESRC: £240k). RA: Jean Roper.
Depledge, M., Pahl, S. & Lilley, A.(2010-2013). Seeing is Believing. (European Centre for Environment and Human Health, PCMD [post doc WillStahl-Timmins])
White, M. P., Pahl, S. & Edworthy, J. (2009-12). Choice Architectures and Volunteering. UoP Faculty of Science PhD Studentship: Lauren Carroll.
Pahl, S. (2011). Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Fellowship, British Columbia, Canada, March.
Pahl, S. (2011). International Networking Scheme University of Plymouth, for research visit to the University of British Columbia, March.
LeFroy,M., LeFroy, E., White, M. & Pahl, S. (2010). Surf to success / surfing for success. (Ecominds: 20k awarded to GB Boardriders CIC).
Butel, L., Pahl, S. & Memery, J. (2009-11). The psychology of giving to independent schools. Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Plymouth College (TechnologyStrategy Board: £81k).
Pahl, S. (2009-10). Optimism, pessimism and pro-environmental engagement. (Seale-HayneEducational Trust: £2k).
Pahl, S. & White, M. P. (2008-09). Predicting and improving satisfaction with a rewarding activity: Volunteering for the Samaritans. (University of Plymouth: £8k).
Pahl, S. (2006). Self-activation and betting behaviour. Dr. German Schweiger Spende: €1k.
Pahl, S. (2006-08). Role models, social comparison & gender: Effects on career aspirations of men and women. University of Erlangen: €9k.
Pahl, S. (2005-06). Linguistic norms and the focus effect in self-other comparisons. EAESP Postdoctoral Seedcorn Grant: €2k.
Pahl, S. (2002-03). ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: £26k.
- Centre for Research in Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (CBCB)
Key publications are highlightedJournals