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Alexander Maki

Contact Information

Alex Maki

Alex Maki

Office: Buttrick 162

PMB 407702
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240

Phone: 615-322-9690
Fax: 615-322-7012


Postdoctoral Fellow
Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment
Climate Change Research Network


  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • B.A.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Philosophy, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN

Research Interests

My name is Alex Maki and I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment and the Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network. My formal training is in social psychology, and my research uses theory-based behavior change interventions to understand and influence environmental (e.g., energy use), health (e.g., eating choices), and prosocial (e.g., volunteerism) behaviors.

Specifically, I am interested in how interventions can help people initiate and maintain changes to multiple, related behaviors over time (e.g., both conserve energy and water at home). I also examine the social dynamics surrounding environmental behaviors, including who chooses to talk to other people (e.g., friends or family) about environmental issues, such as climate change, and how we can help people have more constructive conversations. Finally, my work considers how framing of environmental policies affects people’s support for these policies.

Research Projects

  • Testing for environmental behavior spillover, including from the workplace to the home.
    • Collaborators: Amanda Carrico, Mark Cohen, Jonathan Gilligan, Kaitlin Toner Raimi, Heather Truelove, Michael Vandenbergh
  • Understanding support for private climate governance (private firm policies, such as Microsoft's carbon neutral internal tax).
    • Collaborators: Mark Cohen, Jonathan Gilligan, Michael Vandenbergh, Ken Wallston

  • Determining the social dynamics that influence environmental behaviors, including people's conversations about climate change.
    • Collaborator:  Kaitlin Toner Raimi

  • Using meta-analysis as a tool to inform environmental policy-making.
    • Collaborators: Mark Cohen, Michael Vandenbergh

Representative Publications & Talks


Maki, A. (in press).Psychology. Chapter to appear in E. Wohl (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

Maki, A., Carrico, A. R., & Vandenbergh, M. P. (in press). Doing the wrong things for the right reasons: How environmental fallacies affect environmental behavior. Chapter to appear in B. G. Southwell, E. A. Thorson, & L. Sheble (Eds.), Misinformation and Mass Audiences. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 

Maki, A., & Rothman, A. J. (in press). Understanding proenvironmental intentions and behaviors: The importance of considering both the behavior setting and type of behavior. Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2016.1215968 

Maki, A., Vitriol, J., Dwyer, P. C., Kim, J. S., & Snyder, M. (in press). The Helping Orientations Inventory: Measuring propensities to provide autonomy and dependency help. European Journal of Social Psychology. 

Xu, X., Maki, A., Chen, C., Dong, B., & Stuart, J. A. (in press). Investigating willingness to save energy and communication about energy use in the American workplace with the attitude-behavior-context model. Energy Research & Social Science. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2017.02.011 

Maki, A., & Raimi, K. T. (2017). Environmental peer persuasion: How moral exporting and belief superiority relate to efforts to influence others. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 49, 18-29. 

Maki, A., & Snyder, M. (2017). Investigating similarities and differences between volunteer behaviors: Development of a volunteer interest typology. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 46, 5-28. 

Raimi, K. T., Stern, P. C., & Maki, A. (2017). The promise and limitations of using analogies to improve decision-relevant understanding of climate change. PLOS ONE. doi: 10.137/journal.pone.017 

Maki, A., Burns, R., Ha., L., & Rothman, A. J. (2016). Paying people to protect the environment: A meta-analysis of incentive interventions to promote proenvironmental behaviors. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 47, 242-255. 

Maki, A.*, Dwyer, P. C.*, & Snyder, M (2016). Time perspective and volunteerism: The importance of focusing on the future. Journal of Social Psychology. 156, 334-349. (*shared first author) 

Sheeran, P., Maki, A., Montanaro, E., Avishai-Yitshak, A., Bryan, A., Klein, W. M. P., Miles, E., & Rothman, A. J. (2016). The impact of changing attitudes, norms, and self-efficacy on health-related intentions and behavior: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology, 35, 1178-1188. 

Dwyer, P. C.*, Maki, A.*, & Rothman, A. J. (2015). Promoting energy conservation behavior in public settings: The influence of social norms and personal responsibility. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 41, 30-34. (*shared first author) 

Maki, A., Dwyer, P. C., & Snyder, M. (2015). Understanding national service: Perspectives from psychological theory and research on volunteerism and prosocial behavior. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 15, 253-281. 

Snyder, M., & Maki, A. (2015). Volunteerism, psychology of. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition (pp. 268-272). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science. 

Maki, A., & Lauber, J. (2012). UMore Park: Culture and community action plan. The Sustainable Community at UMore Park: Aspirational Goals and Action Plan for Sustainability. Minneapolis, MN: UMore Development LLC.

Selected conference talks 

Burns, R., Maki, A., & Rothman, A. J. (2017). Financial incentives as a strategy for physical activity and weight loss maintenance: Lessons from pro-environmental behaviours. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Victoria, Canada. 

Maki, A., Cohen, M. A., & Vandenbergh, M. P. Using meta-analysis in the social sciences to improve environmental policy. Paper to be presented in a plenary session at the Sustainability and Social Science Research Symposium at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 

Maki, A., & Raimi, K. T. (2017). Environmental peer pressure: How moral exporting and belief superiority relate to efforts to influence others. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX. 

Raimi, K. T., Campbell-Arvai, V., Hart, P. S., Wolske, K., & Maki, A. (2017). Do discussions of geoengineering undermine support for climate change mitigation? Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Albuquerque, NM. 

Corser, R. & Maki, A. (2016). Revealing the water/energy demands of meat production reduces intentions to consume red meat, but no spillover to other pro-environmental behaviors. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, Boston, MA. 

Maki, A., Chen, C. F., Xu, X. (2016). The value of social psychology for improving building modeling. Paper presented at the National Science Foundation Sustainability Human-Building Ecosystems workshop, Knoxville, TN. 

Maki, A., McKinney, E., Vandenbergh, M. P., Cohen, M. A., & Gilligan, J. M. (2016). Do employee energy benefits influence environmental behavior and employee morale? Paper presented at the biennial Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues convention, Minneapolis, MN. 

Maki, A., Rothman, A. J., & Snyder, M. (2016). Who engages in a range of proenvironmental behaviors and who spreads their proenvironmental behaviors to others? Paper presented at the APA Division 34 (Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology) session at the annual American Psychological Association convention, Denver, CO. 

Maki, A., Vandenbergh, M. P., Cohen, M. A., & Gilligan, J. M. (2016). Private governance approaches to climate change. Poster presented at the Vanderbilt University Research Retreat for researchers receiving internal research grant funding, Nashville, TN. 

Panos, M., Maki, A., & Rothman, A. J. (2016). The effect of norms and default behaviors on eating behavior in a group situation. Poster presented at the Health Psychology Preconference at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.

See my professional website for a complete list of academic activities: