Misse Wester

Professor

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences

Research

I started working with environmental issues at Örebro university in the multidisciplinary research group Man-Environment-Technology (MTM) and received my PhD in 2004. After that, I moved my research to the division of philosophy at the Royal Institute of technology (KTH) and worked there for almost ten years before moving to the division of Industrial Ecology, where I’m involved in research projects concerning environmental risk perception, environmental behavior and climate adaptation.

My main interest in my research is the link between what we think and what we do in relation to risks and safety – and how this affects risk and crisis communication. We might think something – or perceive certain things – but then act in ways that might seem contradictory to our beliefs. For an individual, the behavior is almost always rational but can be interpreted by someone else as being irrational. These (mis)conceptions can be seen in many different areas – ranging from assumptions that people don’t care about the environment because they don’t buy organic food, to the myth of panic in disasters where people behave badly just to save their own skin. For me, a more constructive view is to examine, understand and explain human behavior in the varying contexts we move and look at factors such as power, influence and rationality. In this way, we can make predictions and decisions based on facts, not misconceptions that lack foundation.

Research

My main interest in my research is the link between what we think and what we do in relation to risks and safety – and how this affects risk and crisis communication. We might think something – or perceive certain things – but then act in ways that might seem contradictory to our beliefs. For an individual, the behavior is almost always rational but can be interpreted by someone else as being irrational. These (mis)conceptions can be seen in many different areas – ranging from assumptions that people don’t care about the environment because they don’t buy organic food, to the myth of panic in disasters where people behave badly just to save their own skin. For me, a more constructive view is to examine, understand and explain human behavior in the varying contexts we move and look at factors such as power, influence and rationality. In this way, we can make predictions and decisions based on facts, not misconceptions that lack foundation.

Recent research outputs

Jonathan Metzger, Annika Carlsson Kanyama, Per Wikman-Svahn, Karin Mossberg Sonnek, Christoffer Carstens, Misse Wester & Christoffer Wedebrand, 2021, In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Phudoma Lama, Mo Hamza & Misse Wester, 2020 Jun 15, In: Climate and Development.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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