Dr Joanne Smith
Director of Research, Associate Professor


Research interests

In the broadest sense, my research focuses on the ways in which social identity and group membership influences the way that we think, feel, and act, in relation to ourselves and in relation to other people.

My research interests can be divided into the following themes:

1. The impact of social identity factors and norms on the attitude-behaviour relationship. This research attempts to understand why people do not always ""practice what they preach"" and focuses on the role of norms in this process. In particular, my research focuses on the distinction between descriptive norms (what people do) and injunctive norms (what people approve of) and how these norms interact to influence behaviour. I have studied this topic in relation to political behaviour, environmental behaviour, health behaviour.

2. Using norms to improve behaviour change campaigns. Following on from my work on norms, I am also involved in research that looks at evaluating current behaviour change campaigns (mostly in the health domain) and investigates whether existing campaigns can be made more effective by the addition of either descriptive or injunctive norms.

My work also has an interdisciplinary flavour, and I have conducted research looking at the social and behavioural science aspects of water conservation and how to engage consumers with smart meters. With colleagues in the Medical School, we are currently undertaking an evaluation of a pilot intervention designed to address aggression in the night-time economy.


Research grants

  • 2015 Drinkaware
    Mixed methods assessment of a new intervention for encouraging responsible alcohol behaviour in the night time economy: the "Club Hosts" intervention
  • 2012 EU STREP/NEST
    Improved water efficiency through ICT technologies for integrated supply-demand side management (iWIDGET). For further details see: iwidget.eu
  • 2009 Australian Research Council
    Draining the will for peace or war: Understanding how social influence and self-regulation processes interact in conflict.
  • 2008 The British Academy
    Group power and accountability
  • 2007 Australian Research Council
    Newcomer socialisation: The role of organisational identification in the prediction of employee turnover.
  • 2007 Australian Research Council
    The many faces of threat: An investigation of animal, interpersonal and intergroup threat
  • 2007 Australian Research Council
    Through the eyes of Chinese: Attitudes of Australia and their influence on Sino-Australian business exchange
  • 2007 Australian Research Council
    What makes unwritten rules work: A framework for understanding normative influence

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