Ulf Hahnel is Professor for Psychology of Sustainability and Behavior Change at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Basel, Switzerland. Ulf investigates human judgment and decision-making and the underlying psychological mechanisms in the context of global climate change and the energy transition. To account for the global and dynamic nature of climate change he examines variation in judgment and decisions across nations around the globe and across time. His research moreover aims to develop evidence-based behavioral interventions to promote more sustainable decisions. To transfer findings from the level of individual decisions to the system level, he develops interdisciplinary methodology to integrate experimental decision data into energy system and climate models.
Ulf studied psychology at the University of Mainz, Germany and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He received his PhD 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. In 2015, Ulf joined the Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab at the University of Geneva as postdoctoral researcher (promoted senior researcher in 2018). In 2022, he was awarded the highly competitive Eccellenza Professional Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation and is now leading the research group Psychology of Sustainability and Behavior Change as Assistant Professor. He is moreover head of the Society and Choice PhD Program at the Faculty of Psychology.