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Ms LAURA ZAIKAUSKAITE
Ms LAURA ZAIKAUSKAITE profile picture
Appointment
  • Student
  • Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Biography
Laura is a Consumer Psychologist interested in environment-friendly behaviour and people’s barriers to switch towards more sustainable consumption. In her studies, Laura merges interdisciplinary fields of psychology, philosophy, environmental sociology, and neuroscience. Her passion lies in blending behavioural findings with brain level responses in order to obtain understanding of how the brain influences behaviour and vice versa. For her research, Laura uses behavioural experiments combined with EEG and fMRI techniques. She is interested in merging the gap between academia and practice. During her career, she advised many organisations on how to grasp and understand the psychology behind consumer behaviour. She has consulted top global and UK brands such as Samsung, Goldman Sachs, Virgin Trains to name a few.
Research Summary

My research interests lie within the psychology of eco-friendly behaviours. Specifically, I look into the relationship between eco-friendly behaviours and morality, and investigate how moral dimension impacts the perception and subsequent (non)action of climate change-related issues. My research inquiries are inspired by the big questions, such as:


- What should people think about the existing destruction of nature?

- How should they decide what is a right or a wrong action to take in the situations where one is forced to choose between economic loss and sustainable behaviour?

- When should people prioritise economic duties versus eco-friendly obligations?


The answers to the above questions are not straightforward because of the many factors that need to be taken into account. For instance, the factors like history, culture, economy, geography, etc. have a great impact in shaping the evolution of human-nature relationships, and thus make the considerations of what pro-environmental morality actually is very complex and difficult to define.


Needless to say, interdisciplinary approach is a key for obtaining quality insights into the questions above. Therefore, my work merges the disciplines of Social Psychology, Environmental Sociology, Moral Philosophy, and Moral Neuroscience. I believe these four disciplines lead to the roots of the problem and help in:


(i) understanding how history shaped human-nature relationships, and how these relationships were socially constructed (Environmental Sociology);

(ii) tracing the evolution of 'right' and 'wrong' human-nature relationships, and how the definitions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ integrate into socio-economic contexts (Moral Philosophy);

(iii) defining psychological forces that impact the understanding of what is a 'right' or 'wrong' eco behaviour in specific situations and contexts (Social Psychology);

(iv) studying brain to learn how the changes of defined psychological variables impact cognitive processing; specifically, where in the brain and when these changes are processed (Cognitive Neuroscience)


This area of research inspires me for two reasons. First, because we do not actually know what is pro-environmental morality. And second, because the psychology of eco-friendly behaviours often goes against the predictions of existing rational behaviour models.

Teaching Summary
Laura has held a number of teaching roles within the university.

Academic Background
    ATQ-11 Recognised by Advance HE as an Associate Fellow against Descriptor 1 of the UKPSF  
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