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Case Studies

Case Study: Dr Rose Meleady, Lecturer; Dr Charles Seger, Lecturer, with Anglian Water

Anglian Water and UEA logoBehavioural science has shown that small changes to the way that information is presented can lead to big changes in how we behave. Although we may not realise it, our decisions and behaviour are highly influenced by those around us. Mounting evidence suggests that a powerful way of encouraging uptake of a behaviour is to frame it in a way which communicates that it is socially approved of, or that lots of other people are already partaking in the behaviour. Rather than tell people what to do, it is more effective to tell them that lots of other people are doing it.

In our research with Anglian Water we show that presenting information in a way that highlights that other members of relevant social groups engage in resilient water behaviour (e.g. “Norfolk Saves Water!”) led to a significant increase in sign-ups for a water retrofit programme (the ‘Bits and Bobs’ programme). This innovative approach can encourage water-saving behaviour and has now been rolled-out across Anglian Water’s consumer engagement platform. Ongoing work explores how similar ‘nudges’ can encourage behaviour change in other areas relating to the environment, health and safety.

Anglian Water: Core to our business is ensuring customers have a secure supply of water. With the impacts of climate change and increasing population it is becoming more important that we all use less water to ensure we have enough for industry, people and the environment. The work with UEA has had a significant impact on how we can encourage customers to look after the valuable water resources and we will continue to work with them to help reduce the demand on our water supply.

Case Study: Dr Laura Biggart and previous PhD Student Dr Ethan Knights.

Funded by EIRA, UEA Psychology worked with Lettings agency Dunn&Co to research user journeys for an online platform to connect agents, landlords and tenants. Psychology academics, Dr Ethan Knights and Dr Laura Biggart undertook a market review and identified important characteristics of student user journeys from their experience of finding student accommodation.

Read more about their work