Sander van der Linden

Research student

Sander is a doctoral researcher in environmental psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and currently (2012-2013) a visiting research scholar at Yale University, working with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication|.

Within the Grantham Research Institute, his research is broadly concerned with the science of behavioural change. More specifically, Sander specialises in explaining and predicting pro-environmental behaviour.

As part of his PhD, he is conducting a nationally representative study on public climate change perceptions and behaviours in the United Kingdom. He is particularly interested in how different psychological constructs (eg emotions, norms, attitudes, knowledge, etc) are causally interrelated and explain and predict important climate change mitigation intentions and behaviours.

His research also explores how models of behaviour can be more effectively used to guide public communication about climate change.

Sander also holds the following positions:

  • Reviewer for the Journal of European Psychology Students (2011 – present)
  • Member of the United Planet Advisory Council (2008 – present) and International Association of Applied Psychology (2012 – present)


Sander holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Hons) degree from the HES School of Economics and Management, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and an MSc in Public Policy from Maastricht University, The Netherlands, where he specialised in the social psychology of environmental behaviour. Before joining the Grantham Research Institute, Sander worked for various NGOs and professional (consultancy) organisations.

Research programmes

Research interests

  • Behavioural change;
  • Social and evolutionary psychology;
  • Environmental behaviour;
  • Mathematical psychology;
  • Behavioural economics;
  • Neurological foundations of emotions and their role in social behaviour.

Media articles


Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories (What a Hoax)|
Sander van der Linden, Scientific American Mind, 24, 41-43


The helper's high
|Sander Van Der Linden, Odewire, 23 December

Book Review: Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Experimenting with ways to change civic behaviour
|Sander Van Der Linden, British Politics and Policy (LSE blog), 20 November

Nudge is no magic fix. The potential consequences of behavioural interventions need to be weighed carefully based on an understanding of underlying behavioural processes
|Sander Van Der Linden, British Politics and Policy (LSE blog), 25 July

How the illusion of being observed can make you a better person
|Sander van der Linden, Scientific American (Mind Matters), 3 May 

Research articles


van der Linden, S., 2014. On the relationship between personal experience, affect and risk perception: the case of climate change. European Journal of Social Psychology. External link to full article.|


van der Linden, S. 2013. Exploring beliefs about bottled water and intentions to reduce consumption: the dual-effect of social norm activation and persuasive information. Environment and Behaviour. External link to full article|

van der Linden, S. 2013. A response to Dolan. In A.J. Oliver (ed.). Behavioural public policy, (pp.209-215). Cambridge University Press, UK. External link to book details|

van der Linden, S. (in press). Toward a new model for communicating climate change. In S. Cohen, J. Higham, P. Peeters and S. Gössling (eds.). Understanding and governing sustainable tourism mobility: Psychological and behavioural approaches. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group. External link to book details|




Van Der Linden, S. 2012. Mediating Climate Change (by Julie Doyle [book review]). Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, v.30, pp.753-755. External link to PDF of full article|


Helgeson, J., van der Linden, S., and Chabay, I. The role of knowledge, learning and mental models in perceptions of climate change related risks. Learning for Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change (A. Wals & P. B. Corcoran [Eds.]), pp. 329-346, Wageningen Academic Publishers. External link to e-book|




Van Der Linden, S.L. December 2011. Charitable intent: a moral or social Construct? A revised theory of planned behavior model. Current Psychology, v.30, pp.355-374. External link to full article| 

More information

Contact details


Sander Van Der Linden