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N. Contzen, PhD

Postdoctoral researcher
N. Contzen, PhD

About me

I hold a Master of Science (2009) and a PhD (2014) in Psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. During my PhD (2011-2014) at Eawag, Switzerland, I focused on understanding the mechanisms of handwashing behaviour and the effectiveness of handwashing interventions in developing countries. As a postdoctoral researcher at Eawag (2014-2016) I was involved in behaviour change projects on safe water consumption, sanitation, and handwashing in developing countries. In April 2016 I joined the University of Groningen as a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Psychology group. My current work focuses on the influence of emotions and their underlying values on the acceptability of innovations and on social identity processes in proenvironmental  behaviour.

My fields of interest:

  • Acceptability of energy innovations: influence of emotions and values on acceptability; interplay of values and innovation characteristics; sacred values; moral reasoning
  • Social dilemma and cooperation: social identity and cooperation; social identity levels and pro-environmental behavior; social identity interventions and pro-environmental behavior
  • Behavior change in health and environmental protection: social-cognitive factors explaining behavior change; effectiveness of public health interventions in water, sanitation and hygiene; effectiveness of environmental campaigns
  • Handwashing behavior measurement: over-reporting; social desirable responding; dissonance reduction; encoding and recall errors 

Academic education and work experience

2016 - present: Postdoctoral researcher, Department Social Psychology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

2014 - 2016: Postdoctoral research fellow, Department Environmental Social Sciences, Eawag, Switzerland

2014: Doctor of Philosophy (summa cum laude), University of Zurich, Switzerland. Thesis: "Handwashing: Population-tailored promotion and the problem of self-reporting"

2011 - 2014: PhD student, Department Environmental Social Sciences and Department Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling, Eawag, Switzerland

2009 - 2011: Researcher and lecturer, Department Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

2009: Master of Science in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Last modified:04 November 2019 07.55 a.m.

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