I am a PhD student in Social Psychology at UBC. Throughout graduate studies, my passionate is rooted in putting science to work to solve real world problems. At UBC, a large research-focused university, I am using an RCT to develop a program to increase student engagement. My recently published MA thesis examines how thinking about the economic value of time impacts engagement in environmental behavior. I have also collaborated with several charitable organizations, including Peter Singer's charity The Life You Can Save, where I am an advisory board member. As part of my dissertation, I am working with the White House Social Behavioral Sciences Team to explore how time incentives impact job performance and satisfaction.
My dissertation research conducted in collaboration with Profs. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton seeks to explore how people navigate trade-offs between time and money. In a typical day and across a lifetime, people face trade-offs related to time and money. These trade-offs play a role in major decisions such as whether to choose a higher paying career that demands longer hours (vs. making less money and having more free time) and in mundane decisions, such as whether to spend a Saturday afternoon cleaning gutters (or paying someone else to do it). Although we are often faced with these decisions, remarkably there is very little empirical research assessing the trade-offs that people make between time and money. As related to behavior and policy, I am working with two start-up companies and the government to develop strategies for companies to help employees use their time and money in happier ways.
So, how does this project engage communities and the public? We are engaging with the community and with social partners on numerous levels. Locally, we are collaborating with a start-up company from Vancouver, MyBestHelper, that is seeking to transform the sharing economy, and in doing so, to make Vancouver a more connected and friendlier place to live. We are also collaborating with a start-up company from Austin, Texas, YouEarnedIt, that is transforming workplaces into happier, more generous, and more relaxed environments. Finally, we are in discussions with the Social Behavioral Sciences Team at the White House to explore how time-saving incentives can impact employees’ job satisfaction. We hope that these partnerships will not only yield direct benefits for the collaborators that we are working with, but will also provide a wealth of useful scientific insights.