Traditional approaches to galvanize public engagement with science (and environmental issues, more broadly), have relied on unidirectional, top-down messaging approaches rather than more bottom-up, bidirectional forms of communication. In this line of research, myself and others have begun to explore how various forms of verbal (and non-verbal) interpersonal communication (e.g., sanctioning, signaling) can buttress positive engagement with environmental issues. This includes looking at how individual-differences, context/behavior dependent factors, and issue framing impacts various forms of issue engagement. Collaborators include Ezra M. Markowitz (UMass Amherst), Andy J. Danylchuk (UMass Amherst),and Steven J. Cooke (Carlton University).
Conceptualizing green citizenship
Efforts to regress significant environmental challenges, including climate change, tend to situate people in the role of the consumer, suggesting that by leaning and greening our purchasing habits we will advance positive change. Although important, such a narrative promulgates a limited role for people to assume in tackling the pressing environmental issues facing society and furthermore, continues to underscore a consumeristic mindset. As part of ongoing research, myself and collaborators have begun to explore an alternative role for individuals to pursue, green or ecological citizenship, which underscores a more holistic, participatory approach. This work is being conducted alongside Raymond De Young (University of Michigan) and Erin M. Hamilton (Texas Tech University).
Consumer decision-making and corporate wrongdoing
Consumers increasingly patronize corporations on behalf of their commitment to more progressive social and environmental initiatives. Despite the important role corporate social responsibility occupies on corporate agendas, high profile corporate scandals continue to hit the marketplace, including Volkswagen’s intentional circumvention of national emissions regulations. We have ongoing work examining how consumers respond to actual instances of corporate wrongdoing, including examining how various individual-level and context-dependent factors drive engagement (e.g., boycotting, badmouthing, petitioning). This work is being conducted alongside with Ezra M. Markowitz (UMass Amherst), Danial A. Chapman (UPenn/Yale), and Brian Lickel (UMass Amherst).