Social and environmental psychologist, hula-hooping crochet artist
Nita is a dedicated researcher who is passionate about evidence-based policy and practice.
Nita’s childhood in country NSW gave her a deep appreciation for the environment. Nita learnt about the perils of climate change while completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science, and was dismayed at the fact that government policy is not always informed by research evidence. This made her determined to develop the skills necessary for encouraging society to protect the environment and motivated her to join the BWA as a PhD student in 2013.
In her PhD, she got a taste for applied research when she tested a behaviour change tool for encouraging adoption of environmental behaviours via behavioural spillover - which is the notion that when you do something for the environment, you're likely to do more. She found that when you remind people of what they've already done for the environment, they feel capable and their sense of environmental identity is triggered, which encourages them to do other, sometimes more difficult, environmental behaviours in the future.
Nita has expertise in the design and evaluation of behavioural science approaches, as well as experience with quantitative, qualitative, and evidence review research methods. She has led and assisted with a range of research projects focused on encouraging positive environmental and social impacts of human behaviour, such as fostering uptake in energy efficiency programs, supporting wellbeing and productivity of remote working employees, evaluating the implementation and impact of person-centred services supporting people who are injured at work, and reviewing the ancillary impacts of greenhouse emission reduction strategies on health, wellbeing, and the economy.
Outside of work, Nita is a free-form crochet artist who believes she can crochet just about anything, and she is always up for a crochet challenge.
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