Explore the Human Element
CONSERVATION // NATURAL RESOURCES // PEOPLE // BEHAVIOR // ACTION
Human behavior causes many social-environmental issues but is also the means to solve them more readily.
T.H.E. Lab studies human behavior, decision-making, and behavior change in the context of conservation and natural resources management.
We use psychology with other social and behavioral science frameworks in combination with survey methods, experiments, and statistical modeling to understand the nature of and reasons for behavior.
To inform practice and policy, we study (a) norms, values, and institutions, (b) cognitive, social, and policy processes, and (c) individual and group dynamics.
Theory is central to our research on how human behavior interacts with natural resource management and conservation outcomes. Various theoretical lens inform our investigations on the:
Behavioral influences operating in social-environmental contexts;
Cognitive, structural, technological, and procedural elements;
Formal and informal institutions
Social norms and normative social beliefs are a central focus, including their application to practice and policy.
T.H.E. Lab uses social and behavioral science theories, methods, and principles in real-world contexts to address natural resource management and conservation issues via a collaborative, team-science approach.
We collaborate with partners—federal and state agencies, stakeholder groups, private sector entities, and academic institutions—to explore behavior and decision-making in a context-specific manner and draw on the expertise of relevant parties.
T.H.E. Lab's conceptual and applied approaches facilitate research questions that are behavior- and practice-focused so as to be relevant and useful to governments, businesses, organizations, and specific segments of the public.
Oriented this way, we can pragmatically:
Identify and inform significant decision-making factors;
Improve the design and application of behavior change strategies;
Influence public and private sector practices and policies via rigorous science and principled design.