School of Psychology

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Alexa Spence

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science


Research Summary

See personal web page here for more information.

Spence's research experience includes time spent within both the academic and public sectors and has been involved with research within social, economic, and environmental psychology. Her primary area of expertise is within social cognition and risk and she has professional memberships of the British Psychological Society, the European Association of Social Psychologists, the European Social Cognition Network, the National Energy Research Network and the Society for Risk Analysis. She is also a member of the UK Energy Research Centre.

She completed her doctorate at the University of Nottingham on the topic of perceptions and behaviour relating to genetically modified (GM) food. Her postdoctoral experience comprises several posts based both at the University of Nottingham and Cardiff University and has focused on applying social psychological theory to current topical risk issues. In particular she has been involved in research on climate change and energy issues, examining related public perceptions, issues of acceptance, and behaviour.

She currently works across Psychology and Horizon Digital Economy Research where she brings her social and environmental theoretical backgrounds to new digital technology innovations, in particular energy display development and smart grid understandings. Notably Alexa leads a large 5 year project titled Creating the Energy for Change that examines how to encourage cooperation in reducing energy use in the workplace, and is involved with a range of projects examining public perceptions of energy systems and technologies, and climate change.

Have a look at our video overviews of our research that makes sense of energy data and our research that explores perceptions and behaviour change in relation to energy use.

Current Funding:

- SWITCH: Smart Wireless Integrated Technology Control in Homes. March 2012 - December 2012.(E.On) .

- Creating the Energy for Change. September 2012 - August 2017 (RCUK: Digital Economy)

- Information Geology. The 'Lifelong' in the Lifelong Contextual Footprint: A Bridging the Gaps Event. Jan 2012-Dec 2012. (RCUK).

- Scenarios for the development of smart grids in the UK. Sep 2011 - Sep 2013 (UKERC)

- Transforming the UK Energy System: Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability. Jan 2011 - Jan 2013. (UKERC),

Selected Publications

Past Research

Previous Funding

- Psychology of Sustainability Networking Grant Jan 2009 - Jan 2010 (BPS)

- Public perceptions of climate change and energy futures in Britain. Oct 2008 - Oct 2010 (ESRC)

- Theoretical integration of the affect heuristic and implicit attitudes: implications for implicit social cognition, risk perception and acceptability of societal concerns (ESRC)

- Attitudes and Behaviour towards genetically modified food. Oct 2003 - Sep 2006 (ESRC/NERC)

School of Psychology

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The University of Nottingham
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