Claus Lamm from the Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology is leading this project.

Description: Why and how do our brains drive pro-enviromental decision making and behavior, and how, in turn, does the natural environment affect our brains, our mental health, and our well-being? The Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience Unit (SCAN), led by Prof. Claus Lamm, explores these reciprocal relationships by combining a wide range of methods. On the one hand, we investigate the behavioral and neural drivers of pro-environmental behavior. In two projects, we perform experiments in which Ph.D. student Boryana Todorova assesses how individuals value benefits for themselves or the environment, while Ph.D. student Moana Drüe tries to understand how green nudges impact pro-environmental decisions. Furthermore, in a large-scale collaborative effort, junior group leader Dr. Kimberly Doell investigates the most promising strategies to encourage climate change mitigation, while Dr. Jonas Nitschke assesses how trust and worry related to climate change influence policy support and pro-environmental behaviors. On the other hand, we investigate how exposure to specific environments impacts our health, emotions, and cognition. To this end, Ph.D. student Max Steininger explores how exposure to nature helps us cope with aversive experiences, while Boryana Todorova and Ph.D. student Ekaterina Pronizius assess in neuroimaging and survey projects how depictions of destroyed nature influence our emotions, and how this in turn may foster pro-environmental action.

Collaborators: Claus Lamm, Boryana Todorova, Moana Drüe, Kimberly Doell, Jonas Nitschk, Max Steininger and Ekaterina Pronizius (all UNIVIE)

Duration: 2020 – ongoing