We got the chance to chat with Annika Nordlund, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Umeå University and also part of Nudgd’s Group of Experts.

Hello Annika, thank you for taking the time and chat with us! Can you please tell us a bit more about your research?

My research focus on the environmental and social psychological factors that affect our behavior and the extent to which we act environmentally. The interpretation of values, norms and acceptance for different measures and how to create change. The majority of my research concerns transport issues and what can be done to get more people to consider environmentally friendly alternatives.

The starting point for my research is that we as individuals do not act aimlessly, we always have different goals that explain our actions. Depending on where you are in a behavior change process, different factors have different impact on us. Therefore, different measures or actions must be taken depending on the situation. Therefore, different measures or actions must be taken depending on the situation.

What are the major trends right now when it comes to sustainable travel?

The most obvious trend is how the pandemic will affect us in the long run. We have had time to create new habits, both positive and negative. My biggest concern now is whether the car use that increased during the pandemic will continue, that we are getting used to taking the car to work. We know that car habits are very strong once they are established. As a consequence, society and the transport industry can face major challenges in succeeding in attracting passengers back to public transport. On the other hand, business travel has generally decreased and many have become accustomed to working from home and taking meetings digitally, which is positive for the environment.

Do you have a favorite nudge?

No, unfortunately. I beleive that you have to work with a combination of different solutions where nudging is an important piece of the puzzle. The will of the individual, the power of the state in the form of environmental policy instruments and different types of concrete solutions will be needed to move forward together.

Learn more about Annikas research in this TED Talk The Human dimension of the environmental problems.

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