Working in collaboration with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, my PhD research at Cardiff University is investigating pro-environmental behaviours and behavioural spillover of visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park. I'm also attempting to develop behavioural interventions to try and encourage more environmental behaviours from visitors, so that the negative impact of tourism to the area can be decreased. You can check out some of my posters here.
A pro-environmental behaviour is defined by some as "any action that promotes of results in the sustainable use of natural resources." Simply though, pro-environmntal behaviours are things we do that help the planet; saving water, using our cars less, recycling and using reusable water bottles for example.
Behavioural spillover is when behaviour change in one behaviour leads to changes in another. For example, after changing to energy saving light-bulbs you may start trying to save water. My research is looking into cross-contextual behavioural spillover. This is when behaviour change in one context, leads to change in another context. For example, you may turn off lights at home and this may "spillover" and you may also turn off lights at work. Much research though has found this isn't the case, and often when people go on holiday or away from a home-context, they ditch a lot of their pro-environmental behaviours.
A behaviour change intervention is a coordinated attempt to change specific behaviour patterns. As an example, this sign uses social norms (telling people that most other people are performing the behaviour) in order to discourage littering on-site. My work is now progressing into how we can use Virtual Reality as an intervention to encourage behaviour change.