College of Letters & Science l Department of Psychology
Markus Brauer is professor in the Department of Psychology and in the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born and raised in Germany, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1994). He then worked for 17 years as a research scientist in the “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique,” the French counterpart to the National Science Foundation. He joined the University of Wisconsin in 2011. As a social psychologist, Markus Brauer studies the social aspects of human cognition and behavior. He develops and tests interventions aimed at changing people’s behaviors in a variety of domains, such as diversity, energy consumption, and workplace behaviors. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and chapters, has obtained numerous grants, and is member of the editorial board of the top scientific journals in his field.
Many pro-diversity initiatives have one shortcoming: They don’t work! Reviewing empirical studies conducted by our and other research teams, I discuss effective ways to get people to develop positive attitudes towards members of other social groups and to engage in inclusive behaviors (in schools, organizations, and communities).
People love playing games. Together with a local non-profit, we developed and tested the effectiveness of a team-based game (called “Cool Choices”) aimed at getting people to reduce their energy consumption. Team members collect points for one-time behaviors (ex: unplug the second fridge) and habitual behaviors (ex: bike to work).
Communities often attempt to get their members to adopt specific behaviors (ex: volunteering, recycling, littering, natural resource protection). Outdated, yet frequently used approaches are providing information and raising awareness. I will present the toolkit of strategies that behavioral scientists and social marketers use to get people to change their behaviors.