open e-mail in browser
EASP Bulletin     @easpinfo

European Bulletin of Social Psychology 30,2 (August 2018)


Dear Members, Colleagues and Friends,

In the midst of a summer with record heat in many areas of Europe and beyond, we would like to provide you with an update on the latest developments within the EASP.

Below you will find information about the incoming editors of the European Review of Social Psychology – Gordon Hodson and Rhiannon Turner and the current policies at EASP's journals with regard to pre-registration. The 2017 impact factors published in June this year indicate that the association's journals are very well cited: ERSP is now #5 of 64 journals listed in social psychology with a 2-year IF = 3.75. The other journals are likewise doing very well (SPPS: IF = 2.63, EJSP: IF = 2.05, CRSP is too young to be listed but has impressive download rates).

This EBSP issue also includes information about the “Initiative for Science in Europe” and upcoming meetings. Also, fitting the discussions instigated by this summer's weather, we are very happy to have an opinion piece discussing psychologists’ opportunities to serve society with regard to interventions against climate change by Cameron Brick and Sander van der Linden.

We would like to invite you to submit similar short pieces, reflecting on topics you consider relevant within EASP. The "Opinions and Perspectives" section is a forum in which our members can easily express their (potentially controversial) ideas. If you have suggestions on topics related to social psychological knowledge and resulting challenges and opportunities that you wish to communicate, and think are relevant for our members, please contact Torun Lindholm (, the editor of EBSP.

Moreover, we would like to inform you that Tina Keil ( will contact you in the next weeks with a request to update your membership data via the website https// Apart from data privacy related issues (e.g., we need to provide publishers with your contact details so that they can grant you access to EASP journals), we would like to implement an online functionality to cancel paper copies of journals and subscriptions to EASP mailings. We would be especially grateful, if you could complete this form as soon as possible, after you have been contacted.

Finally, please reserve July 1st to 4th 2020, for the next General Meeting in Krakow. More details will follow soon! We hope that you are enjoying the final weeks of the summer, and look forward to share a fruitful and exciting new academic year.

On behalf of the Executive Committee
Kai Sassenberg, Torun Lindholm and Tina Keil

Opinions and Perspectives

Psychologists and the Largest Social Dilemma in History

Cameron Brick & Sander van der Linden
Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Correspondence to: Cameron Brick,

[Image: I don't believe in global warming]

Psychologists have long known that individuals devalue future consequences relative to present conveniences, and so we eat too much, exercise too little, and save inadequately for retirement. Well-meaning scientists and policy makers gently nudge people along, but see the tension between future and present as a natural state for humans. If we harm ourselves from personal choices, that is our responsibility. Yet, climate change is a very different kind of problem: its consequences concern us all and as such, climate change is possibly the largest collective action problem that humanity has ever faced, leading to cascading problems across global ecosystems and human enterprises (IPCC, 2013).

Although the facts on climate change are well-known, well-verified, and understandable even by non-experts (e.g., using the metaphor of a greenhouse), facts alone haven't led to sufficient behavior change. Unfortunately, individuals don't feel personally at-risk when threats are agentless, gradual, distributed, and long-term (Markowitz & Shariff, 2012). As a social dilemma, climate change is therefore fascinating because it produces unique cognitive and social research challenges useful to basic psychological theory. For example: how do people think about and react to huge distributed problems? How is climate change affecting mental health and social relationships? And how can we encourage adaptive and cooperative behaviors in the midst of a large political intergroup conflict? Social psychologists are especially well-equipped to answer these questions by virtue of studying human behavior, motivations, and social influence.

Synthesizing insights from a recent review (van der Linden, Maibach, & Leiserowitz, 2015), we present three fundamental psychological challenges below for action on climate change: 1) human morality, 2) social norms and group identities, and 3) biases in basic human cognition.

Challenge 1: Climate change is not our fault
Although each individual only has a modest impact on climate change, small unintentional actions scaled across billions of people add up to big problems. It therefore often feels like it's happening to us, rather than by us, even when the facts show otherwise. Without clear villains, there’s nobody to blame except ourselves, which can trigger powerful defensive biases. Moral feelings evolved to respond to agentic, imminent threats, not statistical abstractions like climate change.

Solution Box 1: Establish a moral imperative
  1. Frame communications around the specific values of the audience. Focus not only on liberal concerns such as harm to creatures (e.g., polar bears) and future generations, but also on community cohesion, enhancing national security and preserving nature, which appeals more to conservatives (Feinberg & Willer, 2013).
  2. Highlight the villains, e.g., systematic public deception by Exxon Mobil (Oreskes & Conway, 2010). Every good story has inspiring heroes and powerful villains, and climate change has both.
  3. Appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals. Enduring behavior change is more likely when sustainable behavior is connected to morally desirable goals such as being a good citizen (Taufik, Bolderdijk, & Steg, 2014).

Challenge 2: People don't see personal benefits
Most of human cognition is social: we are intensely sensitive to the thoughts and behaviors of others. Our identities guide our actions through many routes, often without awareness. Unfortunately, sustainability norms, whether descriptive (what other people do) or prescriptive (what they think you should be doing) are neither active nor salient.

Solution Box 2: Promote social norms
  1. Leverage relevant social group norms. Communicate what others are doing and tie those behaviors to valued groups and locations.
  2. Avoid pairing desired behaviors with unwanted identities (Brick, Sherman, & Kim, 2017). When behaviors like recycling become associated with political beliefs, some people may avoid recycling for social reasons.
  3. Support advocates across social, religious, and political boundaries. Facts are nearly worthless if the audience sees the communicator as from a rival out-group. Helpfully, scientists can be effective non-partisan communicators (van der Linden, Leiserowitz, & Maibach, 2018).

Challenge 3: The human brain underestimates climate change
A host of familiar cognitive biases make climate change seem less important, including heavily discounting future risk and rewards, undue optimism bias about our ability to mitigate potential harms, justifying the system quo, and affective forecasting errors that the future will generally resemble the present. Research suggests that emphasising present, local, and personal harms and benefits will help, and it will become easier as climate changes unfold.

Solution Box 3: Leverage existing biases
  1. Facilitate experiences and emotions. Make connections between climate change and people's lives, priorities, and local environment, and not just with fear. Help people connect with nature, as nature experiences can facilitate human cooperation (Zelenski, Dopko, & Capaldi, 2015).
  2. Reduce psychological distance. Think global, act local, but there is a trade-off between proximizing the impacts of climate change (e.g., extreme weather) and encouraging people to view climate change as an important global issue (Brügger, Dessai, Devine-Wright, Morton, & Pidgeon, 2015).
  3. Frame policy solutions around gains. When communications focus on severe losses and people feel helpless, they disengage. Benefits include more than physical health and economic growth: for example, emphasising the interpersonal and social benefits of climate action appears effective for communicating with the disengaged across 24 countries (Bain et al., 2015).

The challenges of climate change mitigation are driving a renewed interest in the tragedy of the commons and governance of resources from local to international policy. Psychologists of all stripes have opportunities to contribute in topics ranging from individual differences such as personality and green behaviors (Brick & Lewis, 2016), identity and intergroup processes such as polarization and negotiation, and behavior change at both the individual and political level. A key opportunity is to study how and when people engage in collective action (Lubell, Zahran, & Vedlitz, 2007; van Zomeren, Postmes, & Spears, 2008). The changing climate also offers a unique social context in which to test general models of attitudes, behaviors, and social influence. Climate change is daunting, but psychologists have a tremendous opportunity to serve society through telling the human story of why we behave the way that we do.

This article was adapted for the EASP Newsletter from Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. (2018). Yawning at the apocalypse. The Psychologist, 31, 30-35. British Psychological Society.

Connect with ongoing research



  • Bain, P. G., Milfont, T. L., Kashima, Y., Bilewicz, M., Doron, G., Garðarsdóttir, R. B., … Saviolidis, N. M. (2015). Co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action around the world. Nature Climate Change, 6, 154. doi:10.1038/nclimate2814

  • Brick, C., & Lewis, G. J. (2016). Unearthing the “green” personality: Core traits predict environmentally friendly behavior. Environment and Behavior, 48(5), 635–658. doi:10.1177/0013916514554695

  • Brick, C., Sherman, D. K., & Kim, H. S. (2017). “Green to be seen” and “brown to keep down”: Visibility moderates the effect of identity on pro-environmental behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 51, 226–238. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2017.04.004

  • Brügger, A., Dessai, S., Devine-Wright, P., Morton, T. A., & Pidgeon, N. F. (2015). Psychological responses to the proximity of climate change. Nature Climate Change, 5(12), 1031–1037. doi:10.1038/nclimate2760

  • Feinberg, M., & Willer, R. (2013). The moral roots of environmental attitudes. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797612449177

  • IPCC (2013). AR5 synthesis report. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  • Lubell, M., Zahran, S., & Vedlitz, A. (2007). Collective Action and Citizen Responses to Global Warming. Political Behavior, 29(3), 391–413. doi:10.1007/s11109-006-9025-2

  • Markowitz, E. M., & Shariff, A. F. (2012). Climate change and moral judgement. Nature Climate Change, 2(4), 243–247. doi:10.1038/nclimate1378

  • Oreskes, N., & Conway, E. M. (2010). Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

  • Taufik, D., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2014). Acting green elicits a literal warm glow. Nature Climate Change, 5, 37. doi:10.1038/nclimate2449

  • van der Linden, S., Leiserowitz, A., & Maibach, E. (2018). Scientific agreement can neutralize politicization of facts. Nature Human Behaviour, 2(1), 2–3. doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0259-2

  • van der Linden, S., Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2015). Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change Five “Best Practice” Insights From Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 10(6), 758–763. doi:10.1177/1745691615598516

  • van Zomeren, M., Postmes, T., & Spears, R. (2008). Toward an integrative social identity model of collective action: a quantitative research synthesis of three socio-psychological perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 134(4), 504–535. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.134.4.504

  • Zelenski, J. M., Dopko, R. L., & Capaldi, C. A. (2015). Cooperation is in our nature: Nature exposure may promote cooperative and environmentally sustainable behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 42, 24–31. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.01.005

EASP Publication Options

The EASP sponsors a variety of journals in the field of social psychology of which the publication formats currently range from single study articles to larger empirical works, from literature and theoretical reviews to meta-analyses. Authors can choose for the classic publication format in subscription journals, or opt for an open access opportunity offered by the journal. Last but not least, scientists may decide to pre-register their work, or to publish it within the classic format. The EASP, with its diverse set of journals, tries to support all kind of approaches. By now all EASP affiliated journals, i.e., EJSP, ERSP, SPPS and CRSP, support open access options, and also pre-registration is available, or even forms the DNA of the journal (i.e., in case of CRSP).

Since pre-registration is still fairly new to some colleagues, a short summary of the possibilities is meant to help authors deciding which journal serves their needs best, and fits with the type of the research they want to publish. In a nutshell, pre-registration entails an a priori defined hypothesis and analytic approach, based on a methodology and procedure that is spelled out in detail, and overall is not deviated from. Exploratory analyses are of course possible, but need to be flagged as such.


Pre-registration is possible at many levels. Some colleagues choose to publish their research plans on their website, others use servers provided by their home institution. More relevant for publication purposes are platforms like Open Science Framework or, where research plans, materials, and sometimes also data can be published. Within the context of a submitted manuscript the sources of the pre-registration are provided, and editors and reviewers (and hopefully later also readers) can use this additional information to gain more information about the research process, access materials and potentially replicate research. EASP affiliated journals welcome these types of submissions, as they fall in line with the policy of the journal to make materials and data available to the reader.

Reviewed pre-registration

The main difference between pre-registration and reviewed pre-registration lies in the review process. In case of reviewed pre-registration, authors submit essentially only the Introduction, Theory, Hypothesis and Methods & Procedure to the journal, which then puts these elements through the review process. Authors can benefit from reviewers feedback and upon a successful submission receive an “in-principle acceptance” (IPA) denoting that the full manuscript will be published independent of the obtained results. Of course, this IPA publication requires that the initial pre-registration is not deviated from. Again, exploratory additional analyses are possible, but are clearly labelled as such. Authors are free to additionally pre-register their accepted pre-registration at the above mentioned sites, and to make data available at a source of their choice. Currently, CRSP is the flagship outlet for such reviewed pre-registered research within EASP sponsored journals. Other specialty journals within social psychology discipline offer similar approaches and it is left to the authors to choose an outlet that fits their research best.

Funding for pre-registration research

It is noteworthy that the EASP provided research funding for pre-registration research once a submission has received an IPA, for example from CRSP, but also from other journals. Authors can easily obtain funding up to 1000 EUR to execute their pre-registered research. The applicant has to be an EASP (postgraduate) member and author of the paper (independent of the authorship order).

Kai Jonas and Ernestine Gordijn

Initiative for Science in Europe

The EASP is an active member of Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE,, an independent platform of European learned societies and scientific organizations whose aim is to support all fields of science at a European level, involve scientists in the design and implementation of European science policies, and to advocate strong independent scientific advice in European policy making. ISE is active in making the voice of scientific community heard in a number of science policy issues.

EASP has been involved in consultation on different position papers contributing to FP9 (e.g., statement on budget in FP9, the manifesto "More funds for research and innovation” or Policy Paper on missions in FP9). Recently, Małgorzata Kossowska on behalf of EASP signed the ISE and Euroscience petition on the Horizon Europe budget. Even if the proposed budget is not bad, it is far from the initial figures that were announced; moreover, the final budget could end up being much lower than it is now. The rationale for a petition asking for an increase of the budget is, minimally, to protect the existing proposal. The petition is visible on ISE website, where signatures are being collected. The EC encourages all EASP members to sign the petition.

New ERSP Editors in 2019

We are pleased to announce that Gordon Hodson, PhD, and Rhiannon Turner, PhD, will be the new co-editors of the European Review of Social Psychology (ERSP) as of January 1, 2019.

ERSP Editors

The ERSP is a premium outlet for publishing theoretically interesting and empirically supported ideas that shape and guide the field. The present editors (Miles Hewstone & Antony Manstead) are leaving the journal in excellent shape, with a 2017 Impact Factor of 3.75.

In addition to directly inviting authors to make contributions, the ERSP also accepts direct submissions from authors. The new editors would be delighted to receive unsolicited proposals for contributions to the ERSP that meet the following criteria:

  • papers are review articles, not empirical articles (with the exception of meta-analyses, where the authors themselves must have published primary source empirical work on the topic)
  • authors are typically relatively well-established, with at least 4-5 publications on the topic
  • the article focuses on the author’s own work (but other works are referred to where needed)
  • papers provide sufficient detail within the text, tables, and figures that readers can understand previously published papers based on the present text
  • the journal’s core focus is social psychology, but papers drawing from other disciplines (e.g., individual differences; developmental psychology) are also invited, providing that the topic has strong links to social psychology, and pertains directly to interests within social psychology (e.g., prejudice, aggression, pro-social behaviour).

Proposals are mandatory and are reviewed by the editors (and typically by reviewers); if proposals are accepted, a full paper is then solicited. The new submission portal for proposals will be open soon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the incoming editors at the addresses below.

Contact details of the new editors:

Gordon Hodson, PhD
Brock University, Canada

Rhiannon Turner, PhD
Queens University Belfast, UK

ERSP homepage:

Upcoming Meetings

Just a reminder of upcoming meetings and summer schools. Please be aware that the application/submission deadlines for some of these meetings may have already passed.

EASP Meeting: Boundaries, Norms, and Conflicts: Understanding Intergroup Relations and Rising Intolerance Across Europe and Beyond

6th-8th September, 2018 in Bratislava, Slovakia; Organizers: Barbara Lášticová, Anna Kende, Katarzyna Jasko, and Stephen D. Reicher; Application deadline: March 31st, 2018

EASP Meeting: Introducing Structure: Networks in Social Psychology

October 31st-November 3rd, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium; Organisers: Olivier Klein & Julia Eberlen; Application deadline: May 9th, 2018

EASP Meeting: Polarization, Populism, Political Alienation: Causes and Consequences of Social Diversity and Inequality? Consultation and Discussion Seminar with a Focus on PhD Students and Postdocs

November 1st-4th, 2018, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany; Organisers: Melanie C. Steffens, Susanne Bruckmüller, Franziska Ehrke, Julia Dupont, Nadine Knab, Nicole Methner; Application deadline: May 31st, 2018

EASP Meeting: Language Challenges in the 21st Century

June 20th-22nd, 2019, University of Warsaw, Poland; Organisers: Karolina Hansen, Janin Roessel, Megan Birney, Tamara Rakić and Magdalena Skrodzka; Application deadline: January 31st, 2019

EASP General Meeting 2020

June 30th-July 4th, 2020 in Krakow, Poland; Organisers: Marcin Bukowski, Katarzyna Jaśko, Ewa Szumowska and Piotr Dragon

Member Publications and Announcements

One-Day-Conference: New directions in Psychology of Behaviour Change

October 3rd, 2018 at Radboud University Registration deadline: September 1st, 2018

Call for Papers for Special Issue of Applied Psychology: An International Review

Submission deadline: January 31st, 2019

Call for Papers for Special Issue of "Journal of Social Issues" on International Perspectives on Women in the Workplace

Submission deadline: March 1st, 2019

Grant Reports

Seedcorn Grant Report by Gilad Feldman

Maastricht University, The Netherlands and University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Project: Mass-Replication of Classic Findings in Judgement and Decision Making

Travel Grant Report by Célia Blanchet

Research Visit to Université libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium), Centre Emile Bernheim (Research Institute In Management Sciences)

Travel Grant Report by Marco Biella

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy; Attendance at the EASP Summer School 2018 in Zürich, Switzerland

Travel Grant Report by Nihan Albayrak

London School of Economics and Political Science, UK; Attendance at the EASP Summer School 2018 in Zürich/Switzerland

Seedcorn Grant Report by Ana C. Leite

University of Kent, UK; Project: "Are women (vs men) leaders more harshly punished when they do something wrong?"

Seedcorn Grant Report by Rebecca Weil

University of Hull, UK; Project: "At the Boundaries of Misattribution: Exploring Boundary Conditions of the Positivity-Familiarity Effect"

Grant Awards

The following members have received a grant from the EASP:

  • Cristina Baldissarri (Seedcorn grant)
  • Amy Orben (Travel grant)
  • Sandy Schuman (Seedcorn grant)

Executive Committee

Jean-Claude Croizet (Meetings Officer),
CeRCA (UMR CNRS 6234), MSHS Université de Poitiers, F-86000 Poitiers, France

Ernestine Gordijn (Journals Officer),
Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, NL‑9712 TS Groningen, Netherlands

Kai Jonas (Treasurer),
Work and Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel 40, NL‑6229 ER Maastricht, Netherlands

Małgorzata Kossowska (European Liaison Officer),
Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Ingardena 6, PL‑30‑060 Krakow, Poland

Torun Lindholm (Secretary),
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, SE‑106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Monica Rubini (Grants Officer),
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, I‑40126 Bologna, Italy

Kai Sassenberg (President),
Knowledge Media Research Center, Schleichstr. 6, D‑72076 Tuebingen, Germany

Sibylle Classen (Executive Officer),
P.O. Box 420 143, D‑48068 Muenster, Germany


Executive Officer
Sibylle Classen
P.O. Box 420 143
D-48068 Muenster

Torun Lindholm
Stockholm University

Media Manager
Tina Keil

You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the EASP Bulletin mailing list.
If you no longer wish to receive this mailing please click here to unsubscribe.