Sarah Becker

Sarah Becker

Research Associate

School of Psychology

Email:
beckers@cardiff.ac.uk
Location:
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

As part of the Understanding Risk Research  Group I am currently involved in research exploring people's views on the  financing of the energy transition in the UK. The Climate Change Act 2008  committed the UK to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 relative to 1990  levels requiring a renovation of the energy system. Public acceptance and  engagement will be crucial to support such a major shift. We are examining what  people think about who should be responsible and how to pay for the energy  transition.

For my PhD I investigated people's views on  climate change mitigation and to what extent individual behaviour change  approaches may attenuate support for structural level change. Further, I looked  at perceptions of drought and how these relate to views on climate change in  California.

Previously I have been involved in work  studying the successful uptake of solar home systems in Kenya.

Undergraduate education

2009 - 2012: BSc Psychology (Class I),  University of Sussex, UK

Postgraduate education

2012  - 2013: MRes in Psychological Methods (passed with distinction), University of  Sussex,            UK  (funded by the ESRC)

2013 - 2017: PhD in Environmental  Psychology "Exploring views on climate change and how it should be addressed" supervised by Dr. Paul  Sparks in Psychology and Dr. David  Ockwell  in Geography, University of Sussex, UK (funded by the ESRC)

Employment

April 2017 - present: Research Associate,  Understanding Risk Research Group, Cardiff University,  UK
Project: Transforming the UK energy system: Public views on responsibility and how to pay for 2050 (UKERC  funded)

Research topics and related papers

Transforming  the UK energy system: Public views on responsibility and how to pay for 2050

Building  on previous survey research focus groups were conducted to examine people’s  perceptions on energy transitions including questions about responsibility and  how transitions should be paid for. Five focus groups (between 6-9 participants  each) took place in Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham and London (2 groups in the  latter). Participants were recruited to represent a diverse spread in terms of  age, gender and socio-demographic background to capture diverse views. In the  focus groups the energy system was defined broadly exploring perspectives on production,  transmission and use. The analysis of the focus groups is looking at topics  around affordability and profits, distrust in institutions and views on social  justice.

Research group

I  work as part of the Understanding  Risk Research Group, which includes researchers from various disciplines  and methodological backgrounds. The group has members from within Cardiff  University and also works with institutions such as Nottingham University,  Sheffield University and the University of East Anglia.

Media activities

content