Current Specific Research Projects

Dr. Ulf Hahnel

Senior researcher and teaching fellow

Campus Biotech 4166

Institution : University of Geneva
Department : Psychology

Ulf is a senior researcher and teaching fellow at the Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab. He is also member of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), the Swiss Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (SCCER CREST) and member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

He applies research from psychology, affective sciences, and behavioral economics to investigate sustainable consumer judgment and decision-making. His experimental research approach combines theory-based empirical cognitive and affective sciences with practice-related expertise in the environmental and energy domain. This encompasses investigating the influence of individual differences such as trait affect, values, and ideology on environmental risk perception and judgment and decision-making as well as the cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying these effects. Moreover, his research aims to identify factors inherent to the decision environment that can be applied to stimulate more sustainable consumer decisions and thus can inform public behavioral policy. The applied methodological spectrum encompasses experimental research in laboratory settings, large-scale (experimental) online studies as well as the analysis of real-world behavior and interventions in field settings. With respect to practical applications, his research focuses on consumer choices and investment decisions, policy acceptance and voting behavior as well as energy consumption behavior in the context of renewable energy systems. In a new line of interdisciplinary research, he investigates decision-making processes in future peer-to-peer energy trading networks. 

Ulf studied psychology at the University of Mainz, Germany and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. from Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany in 2014 for examining the impact of psychological determinants on the adoption of sustainable transportation technologies. From 2010 to 2015, he worked in the Group Cognition, Emotion, and Communication at the Department of Psychology of the University of Freiburg. Additionally, he held a position at the Department Smart Grids at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the largest solar research institute in Europe, from 2010 to 2014.



Consumer-driven impacts on the Grid: Peer effects on the diffusion of technologies and strategies to manage PV electricity and demand (Peer-to-Grid)