Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Carol Werner

Carol Werner

My empirical work examines the attitudinal and motivational underpinnings of pro-environmental behaviors. I work at the interface between theory and application. For example, I have done extensive field research on neighborhood and university recycling, using persuasion, self-regulation, and social pressure concepts. I developed a holistic program for changing behaviors with respect to household hazardous material (insecticides, cleansers, paint and so on), using these ideas. My colleague Barbara Brown and I are conducting research on "transit oriented development," including questions of what kinds of people enjoy living in attractive, high density urban environments, and whether people who use transit walk more and are less likely to gain weight I also consult with local and state officials on strategies for increasing commuters' use of mass transit.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Gillilan, S., Werner, C. M., Olson, L., & Adams, D. (1996). Teaching the concept of PREcycling: A campaign and evaluation. Journal of Environmental Education, 28, 11-18.
  • Werner, C. M., & Adams, D. (2001). Changing homeowners' behaviors involving toxic household chemicals: A psychological, multilevel approach. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 1, 1-31. (on-line journal at "")
  • Werner, C. M., & Makela, E. (1998). Motivations and behaviors that support recycling. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18, 373-386.
  • Werner, C. M., Rhodes, M. U., & Partain, K. K. (1998). Designing effective instructional signs with schema theory: Case studies of polystyrene recycling. Environment and Behavior, 30, 709-735.
  • Werner, C. M., Stoll, R., Birch, P., & White, P. H. (2002). Clinical validation and cognitive elaboration: Signs that encourage sustained recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 24, 184-202.
  • Werner, C. M., Turner, J., Shipman, K., Twitchell, S. F., Dickson, B. R., Bruschke, G. V., & von Bismarck, W. B. (1995). Commitment, behavior,and attitude change: An analysis of long-term recycling. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 197-208.
  • Werner, C. M., Voce, R., Openshaw, K., & Simons, M. (2002). Designing service-learning to empower students and community: Jackson Elementary builds a nature study center. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 557-579.

Other Publications:

  • Werner, C. M. (1999). Psychological perspectives on sustainability. In E. Becker and T. Jahn (Eds.), Sustainability and the social sciences: A cross-disciplinary approach to integrating environmental considerations into theoretical reorientation (pp. 223-242). London, England: ZED books.
  • Werner, C. M., Brown, B. B., & Altman, I. (2002). Transactionally-oriented research: Example and strategies. In R. Bechtel and A. Churchman (Eds.), Handbook of Environmental Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 203-221). New York: Wiley.

Courses Taught:

  • Advanced Environmental Psychology
  • Environmental Psychology

Carol Werner
Department of Psychology
University of Utah
380 South 1530 East, Room 502
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0251
United States

  • Phone: (801) 581-8938
  • Fax: (801) 581-5841

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