My core interests are how individuals react to collective problems such as climate change, focusing on individual behaviors and support for public policies. Human flourishing depends on continuously reconciling short- vs. long-term motivations and individual vs. collective interests. I build models predicting social and political behavior from cognitions, individual differences, and social context. I am also interested in communication effectiveness, both for supporting informed decisions (i.e., communicating harms and benefits) and for behavior change (persuasion). My upcoming research will primarily investigate the social psychological underpinnings of behaviors that advance or obstruct the public interest. I have been supported by the US National Science Foundation and two other fellowships, and hold a university teaching award.

Jan 2020: Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. I am a postdoc Research Associate at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in Maths, with a joint appointment in Psychology, and am a By-Fellow of Churchill College, all at the University of Cambridge. I completed a PhD in Social Psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara, and taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hamilton College, NY.

Key publications

Review: I was the first to describe how policy options are communicated and summarize their effectiveness (Brick et al., 2018Palgrave Communications). I identified four key challenges in summarizing policy options compared to communicating about individual decisions.

Empirical: Individuals pursue or avoid "green" behaviors to signal identities (Brick et al., 2017, Journal of Environmental PsychologyBrick & Lai, 2018same); self-reports of group identification more strongly predict behavior and policy preferences than implicit measures (20172018); women receive fewer conference talk invitations or acceptances (Ford, Brick et al., 2018Nature Communications).

Methods: I developed self-report scales for general pro-environmental behaviors (21 items; Brick et al., 2017), individual actions to mitigate climate change (15 items; Brick & Lewis, 2016, Environment & Behavior), identifying as an environmentalist (4 items; 2016; 2017; 2018); and built an implicit measure of identifying with a group (2018). I maintain a list of open psychological datasets.

Commentary: Political polarization and social cohesion (Brick & van der Linden, 2018Scientific American Mind); Climate change as a social dilemma (Brick & van der Linden, 2018British Psychological Society: The Psychologist).


Vesely, S., Klöckner, C. A., & Brick, C. (2019). Are environmentalists more pro-social when solving social dilemmas? Expectations and behavior in the lab. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 10.31234/

Lange, F., Brick, C., & Dewitte, S. (2019, in-principle acceptance of Stage 1 Registered Report). Green when seen? Testing the effect of observability on prosociality in a pre-registered environmental conservation task. Royal Society Open Science.

Brick, C., McDowell, M., & Freeman, A. L. (2019, in-principle acceptance of Stage 1 Registered Report). Risk communication in tables vs. text: a Registered Report randomised trial on 'fact boxes'. Royal Society Open Science.

Brick, C. (2019). Seeing the planet break down is depressing – here’s how to turn your pain into action. The Conversation.
commentary - pdf

Schüz, B., Brick, C., Wilding, S. E., & Conner, M. T. (2019). Socioeconomic status moderates the effects of health cognitions on health behaviors: Two multi-behavior studies. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 1-13.
empirical - pdf

Brick, C. (2019). A modest proposal for restoration ecology. Restoration Ecology, 27(3), 485-487.
commentary - pdf

de-Wit, L., Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. Is social media driving political polarization? (2019). Greater Good Magazine.
commentary - pdf


Brick, C., & Lai, C. K. (2018). Explicit (but not implicit) environmentalist identity predicts pro-environmental action. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 58, 8-17.
empirical - pdf - supplement

Brick, C., Freeman, A. L. J., Wooding, S., Skylark, W. J., Marteau, T., & Spiegelhalter, D. J. (2018). Winners and losers: Communicating the potential impacts of policies. Palgrave Communications, 4(69), 1-13.
review - pdf - supplement

Ford, H., Brick, C., Blaufuss, K., & Dekens, P. S. (2018). Gender inequity in speaking opportunities at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Nature Communications, 9(1358), 1-6.
empirical - pdf

Moshontz, H., Campbell, L., Ebersole, C. R., IJzerman, H., Urry, H. L., Forscher, P. S., Chartier, C. R. (2018). The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing psychology through a distributed collaborative network. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1(4) 501-515.
methods - pdf

Busic-Sontic, A., & Brick, C. (2018). Personality trait effects on green household installations. Collabra: Psychology, 4(1): 8, 1-11.
empirical - pdf

Voisin, D., Brick, C., Valleé, B., & Pascual, A. (2018). When stereotype threat does not impair performance, self-affirmation can be harmful. Self & Identity, 18(3), 331-348.
empirical - pdf

Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. (2018). Yawning at the apocalypse. The Psychologist, 31, 30-35. British Psychological Society.
commentary - pdf

Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. (2018). Fiddling while Rome burns? The Psychologist, in press. British Psychological Society.
commentary - pdf

Brick, C., & Spiegelhalter, D. J. (2018). Winners and losers: Communicating the potential impacts of policies: commentary on Zeller. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 1-2.
invited commentary - pdf

Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. (2018). How identity, not issues, explains the partisan divide. Scientific American Mind.
commentary - pdf

Brick, C., & van der Linden, S. L. (2018). Psychologists and the largest social dilemma in history. European Bulletin of Social Psychology, 30, 2.
commentary - pdf


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.
empirical - pdf - supplement


Brick, C., & Lewis, G. J. (2016). Unearthing the “green” personality: Core traits predict environmentally friendly behavior. Environment and Behavior, 48(5), 635-658.
empirical - pdf

Brick, C., McCully, S. N., Updegraff, J. A., Ehret, P. J., Areguin, M. A., & Sherman, D. K. (2016). The impact of cultural exposure and message framing on oral health behavior: Exploring the role of message memory. Medical Decision Making, 36(7), 834-843.
empirical - pdf


Binning, K. R., Brick, C., Cohen, G. L., & Sherman, D. K. (2015). Going along versus getting it right: The role of self-integrity in political conformity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56, 73-88.

Updegraff, J. A., Brick, C., Emanuel, A. S., Mintzer, R. E., & Sherman, D. K. (2015). Message framing for oral health: Moderation by perceived susceptibility and motivational orientation in a diverse sample of Americans. Health Psychology, 34(1), 20-29.
empirical - pdf


Brick, C., & Conrardy, M. (2013). Why doesn’t the public respond to climate change?
commentary - pdf


Brick, C., Seely, D. L., & Palermo, T. M. (2010). Association between sleep hygiene and sleep quality in medical students. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 8(2), 113-121.
empirical - pdf

Canseco-Gonzalez, E., Brehm, L., Brick, C., Brown-Schmidt, S., Fischer, K., & Wagner, K. (2010). Carpet or cárcel: the effect of age of acquisition and language mode on bilingual lexical access. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25(5), 669-705.
empirical - pdf


Media Coverage (selected)

The Guardian. Women not getting a fair say at academic conferences.

The Atlantic. How vanity could save the planet.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio One. Psychology of water conservation.

Washington Post. Can your personality explain how you feel about the Keystone XL pipeline?


Blog & Video

YouTube (2018). Do we have enough information when we vote? (2018). Do you get all the information you need when voting in referendums?

Psychology Today (2018). The new science of communicating policy options.

Psychology Today (2018). Personality and green energy installations. Guest blogger: Ante Busic-Sontic.

Psychology Today (2017). Beyond the bystander effect: Helping others depends on our identities and whether anyone is watching.




At UCSB, I received the Excellence in Teaching Award, given to ≤1% of nominated instructors. I also earned a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching. I have taught six different courses as the instructor of record at both Hamilton College and UCSB:

Social Psychology 

Health Psychology

Psychology of Sustainability

Environmental Psychology

Introduction to Psychology

Senior Thesis





2017   Pitch Competition for Early Career Social Scientists, 1st place, University of Cambridge

2014   SPSP/EASP Summer School Fellowship

2013   Graduate Fellowship in Psychology, Environment, and Public Policy

2013   NIDCR Building Bridges Award, APS Convention 2013

2013   Excellence in Teaching Award, UC Santa Barbara

2011    Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation