Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Stuart Capstick

Dr Stuart Capstick

Research Fellow

Yr Ysgol Seicoleg

Adeilad y Tŵr, Plas y Parc, Caerdydd, CF10 3AT

I am interested in how people understand and respond to climate change. What determines our level of interest and concern about this topic? What are the drivers of personal action and how can we communicate and involve people better with this topic?

Undergraduate education

BSc Psychology, Plymouth University

Postgraduate education

Master in Research Methods, University of Bath
PhD in Psychology, Cardiff University


March 2015 – present: Research  Fellow, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

November 2011 – February 2015:  Research Associate, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

October 2008 – October 2011: PhD  student, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

June 2006 – February 2007:  Research assistant, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, New Zealand.















Research topics and related papers

My main research focus is on cross-cultural understanding of climate change and environmentally-significant behaviours. I am working with Dr Nick Nash and Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh within the CASPI project at Cardiff University to examine the cultural, contextual and personal factors  underpinning sustainable lifestyles. In particular, we are interested in the ways in which discrete pro-environmental behaviours (such as the use of public transport or cycling) relate to other behaviours of relevance to personal emissions. Our research aims to better understand the conditions under which adopting certain behaviours might lead to uptake of other actions, a process termed behavioural 'spillover’.

I also work on the The Climate Communication Project together with researchers from the natural and social sciences, and practitioners from climate change NGOs, in order to develop a better understanding of how best to communicate climate change. This has involved surveying UK capacity and expertise on climate change communication, and synthesising research findings, as well as carrying out expert workshops to consolidate our understanding of approaches in this area.

Other research I have carried out, in which I maintain an active interest, includes the role of personal experience on climate change perceptions; public understanding of ocean acidification; use of artistic approaches to communicate climate change; applying social science techniques to exploring water use practices in Africa; and the ways in which people’s views on climate change have developed over time.

I am an active member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. I have worked with colleagues within this network on options for achieving radical emissions reduction through behaviour and lifestyle change, as well as ways of reducing the carbon footprint from our research  activity. This latter work was discussed in a 2015 Nature editorial.

Capstick, S. B., Pidgeon, N. F. and Henwood, K. (in press). Stability  and change in British public discourses about climate change between 1997 and  2010. Environmental Values,  forthcoming.

Capstick, S. B.,  Whitmarsh, L. E., Poortinga, W., Pidgeon, N. F. and  Upham, P. (2015). International  trends in public perceptions of climate change over the past quarter century. Wiley  Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(1), 35-61. (10.1002/wcc.321)

Capstick, S. B.,  Lorenzoni, I., Corner, A. and Whitmarsh, L. E. (2015). Prospects for radical emissions  reduction through behavior and lifestyle change. Carbon  Management (10.1080/17583004.2015.1020011)

Capstick, S. B. and  Pidgeon, N. F. (2014). Public  perception of cold weather events as evidence for and against climate change. Climatic  Change, 122(4), 695-708. (10.1007/s10584-013-1003-1)

Capstick, S. B. and  Pidgeon, N. F. (2014). What  is climate change scepticism? Examination of the concept using a mixed methods  study of the UK public. Global Environmental Change, 24, 389-401.  (10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.08.012)


The Climate Communication Project – NERC £100,123

Resilience In Groundwater Supply Systems: integrating resource-based approaches with agency, behaviour and choice in West Africa (RIGGS) – NERC / Global Challenges Research Fund £154,406

Water Resilience in Namibia and South Africa – Global Challenges Research Fund £43,308

Public perceptions of climate change in the immediate aftermath of major national flooding – ESRC £181,446

. Funded by ESRC: £181,446.

Research group

Social and environmental psychology

Research collaborators

Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh and Dr  Nick Nash (CASPI).

Prof Nick Pidgeon, Dr Christina  Demski and members of the Understanding Risk Group at Cardiff University.

Researchers across the Tyndall  Centre for Climate Change Research.

Dr Adam Corner, Climate Outreach  and Information Network (COIN).

Dr Sarah Hemstock, University of  the South Pacific.

Media activities

I occasionally find my way into the media, for example a 2014 article  for The Guardian.