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Dr Colin Whittle

Research Associate

School of Psychology

Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

I  am focused on understanding public response to future technologies and policies for achieving greater energy efficiency in the household. So far, my research  has included exploration of householder attitudes towards smart grid  technologies and demand side management, public attitudes towards energy  efficiency policies, and public responses to current and future low carbon policy  and infrastructure.

More broadly, I am interested in the psychology of pro-environmental behaviours and  sustainable lifestyles.

Teaching summary

I am currently supervising undergraduate, final year  projects.

Undergraduate education

Psychology, BSc, University of Sheffield

Postgraduate education

Psychological Research Methods, MSC, University of Sheffield

Psychology PhD, University of Sheffield

Postgraduate Diploma in Personal and Professional Skill,  University of Sheffield


December 2016 – Present: Research associate, School of  Psychology, Cardiff University

October 2012 – October 2016: PhD student, Department of  Psychology, University of Sheffield



Research topics and related papers

As part of my research associate role on the EPSRC funded  project: Changing Energy Efficiency Technology Adoption in Households (CHEETAH)  I am working with Prof Lorraine  Whitmarsh to conduct in-depth reviews and synthesis of academic literature.  We will utilise these insights to inform the development of an international  survey exploring public preferences for energy efficiency policies. This  large-scale, cross-cultural study will identify the key socio-demographic and  psychological factors which underpin public responses to policies for energy  efficiency.

I have recently collaborated with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change on a  project for the Department of Business Energy, Energy and Industrial Strategy  (BEIS) to identify societal and behavioural risks associated with carbon  mitigations strategies. In particular, we focused on challenges associated with  large scale energy infrastructure, such as concern for associated risk and poor  public engagement. Further challenges for demand side strategies, such as  energy efficiency, were also identified.

Within  the scope of my PhD, “Thinking Smart: Understanding Citizen Acceptance of Smart  Technologies” I used qualitative interviews and quantitative experiments, to  explore householder acceptance of smart energy technologies and the demand side  management strategies of curtailment and load shifting.

Research group

Understanding Risk Group

Research collaborators

Prof Lorraine  Whitmarsh Changing Energy Efficiency Technology Adoption in Households  (CHEETAH).
Dr Christopher  R. Jones, University of Surrey
Dr Aidan While,  University of Sheffield