Sander van der Linden



  • Sander van der Linden

    Former PhD student

    Sander’s research is in social and environmental psychology, with a particular focus on environmental risk judgments, perceptions, attitudes, behaviours and decision-making strategies. Sander recently completed his PhD at the LSE. His thesis is titled: The Social-Psychological Determinants of Climate Change Risk Perceptions, Intentions and Behaviours: A National Study.

    Sander is currently (2012-2014) a visiting research scholar at Yale University, where he works with Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz at the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication Lab. From September 2014 onwards, Sander will hold a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

    Sander is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Grantham PhD Scholarship Award (2010), LSE PhD Funding Award (2013), Department of Geography and Environment PhD Research Funding Award (2013), Yale University (YPCCC) Visiting Scholar Funding Award (2012-2014) and the Joachim Herz Stiftung Fellowship (2014) for research on Bounded Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition and most recently, the American Psychological Association’s Best Environmental Psychology Student Paper (2014) Award.


    Before starting his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Sander obtained a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Hons) degree from the HES School of Economics and Management, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and California State University (CSU), Chico, USA. Sander also holds a MSc degree in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht University, The Netherlands, where he specialised in the social psychology of environmental behaviour.

    Research interests

    • Risk perception and communication;
    • Environmental behaviour;
    • Behavioural change;
    • Social psychology;
    • Psychometrics and quantitative psychology;
    • Behavioural economics;


    Research article  2 June, 2014

    Towards a new model for communicating climate change

    The psychological and social factors that may contribute to and inhibit sustainable change in the context of tourist and traveller behaviour. read more »

    Research article  30 May, 2014

    On the relationship between personal experience, affect and risk perception: The case of climate change.

    European Journal of Social Psychology, 2014. Online. Abstract Examining the conceptual relationship between personal experience, affect, and risk perception is crucial in improving our understanding of how emotional and cognitive … read more »


    Research article  20 November, 2013

    Exploring beliefs about bottled water and intentions to reduce consumption: the dual-effect of social norm activation and persuasive information.

    Environment and Behavior, 2013. Online. Mass consumption of bottled water is contributing to a multitude of environmental problems, including; water wastage, pollution and climate change. The aim of this study … read more »

    Research article  1 November, 2013

    A response to Dolan

    In Behavioural Public Policy, In A.J. Oliver (Ed.) (pp. 209-215). Cambridge University Press: UK.

    Working paper  27 September, 2013

    Exploring beliefs about bottled water and intentions to reduce consumption: The dual effect of social norm activation and persuasive information

    Mass consumption of bottled water is contributing to a multitude of environmental problems, including; water wastage, pollution and climate change. The aim of this study is to advance a social-psychological … read more »


    Research article  2 June, 2012

    The role of knowledge, learning and mental models in perceptions of climate change related risks

    Helgeson, J., van der Linden, S., and Chabay, I. (2012). In A. Wals & P. B. Corcoran (Eds). Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change (pp. 329-346). Wageningen Academic … read more »


    Research article  1 December, 2011

    Charitable Intent: A Moral or Social Construct? A Revised Theory of Planned Behavior Model.

    Current Psychology, 2011. Abstract Given an increasing global need to elicit and stimulate charitable giving and in light of the limited social-psychological research on this subject, this study contributes to … read more »

    More in research publications


    In the news  25 March, 2014

    A Symphony of Reason and Emotion

    Talking Climate This content is no longer available online.


    In the news  8 August, 2013

    Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories (What a Hoax)

    Scientific American Mind

    Commentary  30 April, 2013

    Moon Landing Faked!!!—Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories

    New psychological research helps explain why some see intricate government conspiracies behind events like 9/11 or the Boston bombing  


    In the news  23 December, 2011

    The Helper's High: Why it feels so good to give

    Ode Magazine, 8(6) 26-27. December Edition (Ode Wire)

    In the news  25 July, 2011

    Nudge is No Magic Fix

    LSE British Politics and Policy Blog

    In the news  3 May, 2011

    How the Illusion of Being Observed Can Make You A Better Person

    Scientific American (Mind Matters).

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    Seminars 23 Nov 2011

    Sander Van-Der-Linden - Achieving Behavioural Change: Towards a New Framework for Communicating Information About Climate Change

    It is widely known that, despite increasing scientific consensus on the existence of anthropogenic climate change, people around the world still remain reluctant to change their behaviour. In fact, while … read more »

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