Skip to main content
Katharine Steentjes

Dr Katharine Steentjes

Research Associate

School of Psychology

+44 29208 76520
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


Research summary

My general research interest concerns the understanding of moral and normative associations with environmental issues such as climate change. More precisely, my PhD research examined how people negotiate and maintain social norms through interpersonal interactions (e.g. confrontation). Leading on from this, I am interested in how social norms and moral associations affect perceptions of climate change and support for related policies on a national level

Teaching summary

I am currently not involved with teaching but at I have previously taught students during Social/Environmental Practicals, Statistic courses, various Psychology undergraduate tutorials and a summer programme (Grand Challenges) at the University of Exeter.











Research topics and related papers

Public Perceptions of Climate Change
In my current position in the Understanding Risk Group, I am involved with different research projects assessing public perceptions of climate change and public acceptance of a shift towards sustainable material use. My main focus at the moment is a project that will provide a cross national comparison of public perceptions of climate change and related policies across four northern European countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Norway).

Interpersonal Confrontation/ Social Norms
My PhD research examined the social interactional processes involved in maintaining or changing social norms associated with environmental issues such as climate change. In particular, my PhD research has examined the social costs and behavioural consequences of acts of interpersonal confrontation of environmental disregard. My results consistently identified high social costs associated with confronting environmental disregard. However, witnessing such an interaction was found to have the potential to encourage pro-environmental action tendencies if a scientific justification for the confrontation was provided.

Psychological Effects of Climate Change Frames
I am involved in a research project, led by Dr. Tim Kurz and Dr. Saffron O'Neill, examining the psychological consequences of media frames that were used to present the most recently published IPCC reports. This project examines how the different media frames affect people's concern about climate change, trust in relevant authorities and the shareability of the presented information.


JPI Climate
ESRC Economic and Social Research Council

Research group

Understanding Risk Group
Social & Environmental Psychology
Sustainable Places Research Institute
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Research collaborators

Prof. Nick Pidgeon and members of the Understanding Risk Group at Cardiff University Dr. Tim Kurz, Social Psychology, University of Exeter
Prof. Manuela Barreto, Social Psychology, University of Exeter
Dr. Thomas Morton Social Psychology, University of Exeter
Dr. Saffron O'Neill, Geography, University of Exeter
Dr. Niklas Steffens, University of Queensland


Undergraduate education

BA Psychology, University of Twente, NL

Postgraduate education

MSc Social Psychology, Free University of Amsterdam, NL
PhD Psychology, University of Exeter, UK


March 2015 – present: Research Associate, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
October 2014 – March 2015: Associate Research Fellow, University of Exeter
October 2014 – March 2015: Graduate Teaching Associate, Psychology, University of Exeter

Honours and awards

Awards/external committees

2010 – 2014 Exeter Graduate Fellowship
2010 William James Scholarship (EU students)
2009 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Fellowship programme