Dr Colin Whittle

Research Associate

Research group:
Social & environmental psychology
029 208 74682
Tower Building, Park Place

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.

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

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