Therese’s research broadly focuses on human behavior as it relates to the environment. This implies that she is interested in the individual and collective behavior of natural resource users facing different forms of social- ecological conditions. These social-ecological conditions could, for example, include more or less predictable abrupt ecosystem changes, different external policies, different market conditions, different degrees of resource dependency and different social contexts (with respect to e.g., knowledge and trust). At the other end of the spectrum, we have behavior of the average citizen/consumer. A better understanding of citizen/consumer behavior should increase the success rate of policy instruments and other types of interventions implemented with the purpose of changing human behavior towards more sustainable. Traditionally, this has been the aim of regulations, market based approaches, and information but recently so-called nudges and other psychology-based approaches to behavior-change have increased in popularity, which is also something Therese is also currently working on. She employs experimental (lab and field), empirical and theoretical (mainly game theory) methods.
After completing her PhD in Economics at the Stockholm School of economics (2005), she joined the research staff at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. She became one of the Beijer program leaders, a position which she still holds today, for Behavior, Economics and Nature Network (BENN) (2010). In 2015 she became one of the stream leaders for the Biosphere Stewardship stream at SRC. Over the years she has both lead and participated in many research projects. Therese also supervises PhD students and Master students, as well as teaches, both externally and internally at SRC.
In relation to her work at Beijer and the SRC, Therese works with a number of external groups:
Research news | 2018-04-06
Insights from psychology and behavioural economics can help households improve their food waste habits
Research news | 2017-10-19
The starting point for a rethink on how we produce our food
Research news | 2016-11-18
Threat of abrupt resource decline can trigger more effective communication and cooperation
Research news | 2016-11-04
Why cooperation alone is not enough to secure sustainable use of a resource
2018 - Journal / article
Promoting pro-environmental behaviour amongst urban dwellers is one of today's greatest sustainability challenges. The aim of this study is to test whether an information intervention, designed based on theories from environmental psychology and behavioural economics, can be effective in promoting recycling of food waste in an urban area. To this end we developed and evaluated an information leaflet, mainly guided by insights ...
2017 - Journal / article
Food lies at the heart of both health and sustainability challenges. We use a social-ecological framework to illustrate how major changes to the volume, nutrition and safety of food systems between 1961 and today impact health and sustainability. These changes have almost halved undernutrition while doubling the proportion who are overweight. They have also resulted in reduced resilience of the biosphere, pushing four out of s...
2016 - Journal / article
This paper presents a novel experimental design that allows testing how users of a common-pool resource respond to an endogenously driven drastic drop in the supply of the resource. We show that user groups will manage a resource more efficiently when confronted with such a non-concave resource growth function, compared to groups facing a logistic growth function. Even among cooperative groups there is a significant behavioral...
2016 - Journal / article
Many nature/natural areas are threatened by economic development and urban expansion. Oftentimes nature is not considered part of the cost/benefit analyses preceding such economic development, and most people find it offensive to price-tag nature. To pit (sacred) nature-values against other monetized values (these are so-called taboo trade-offs) is seen as morally offensive. Non-nature related taboo trade-offs (e.g. between li...