Kirstin C. Appelt
Behavioral Scientist

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Research Director | UBC Decision Insights for Business and Society (UBC-DIBS)April 2014 - present
  • Co-founder of UBC-DIBS, a behavioural research and policy solutions initiative at the UBC Sauder School of Business.
  • Conduct and coordinate lab and field studies with partner organizations.
  • Co-chair the BIG Difference Advisory Board, which oversees BIG Difference BC, our Behavioural Insights community- and capacity-building work, including a monthly newsletter, blog, and annual conference.
Academic Director & Instructor | UBC Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural InsightsAugust 2020 - present
  • Lead the development and delivery of Behavioural Insights training for working professionals.
  • Teach multiple courses, including "Fundamentals of Behavioural Insights", "Problem Discovery", "Exploratory Research", and "Insights Implementation & Communication".
  • Advise student teams on their 9-month capstone project using Behavioural Insights to solve real-world challenges.
Research Director | UBC Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics

May 2022 - present
Behavioral Science ConsultantJuly 2011 - present
    Apply leading-edge behavioural science insights (sometimes called "nudge theory") to policy, business, organizational, and other decision-making challenges. Clients not covered by NDA include:
  • BC Public Service Agency, Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
  • California Health Benefit Exchange (a.k.a. Covered California)
  • Columbia Business School, Center for Decision Sciences (CDS)
  • Google, People Analytics
  • Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH)
  • Temple University
  • WorkSafeBC
    Services include:
  • Behavioural insights (BI) audit: Advise on how to incorporate BI into policy, service delivery, user design (UX), product development, communication pieces, etc.
  • Behavioural science research A-Z: Identify problems and relevant behavioural science principles, design research (surveys, AB testing, RCTs, etc.), manage data collection, analyze data using inferential statistics, interpret data, create summary reports & presentations, & provide tailored implementation advice
  • Communicate behavioural insights: Deliver webinars, workshops, and presentations for academic, industry, policy, student, & general audiences. Create issue briefs, research reports, & academic papers.
    Sample projects include:
  • BC BIG & DIBS: Advised on projects with a variety of government ministries to apply Behavioural Insights to policy challenges from conservation to compliance to communication.
  • PBGH: Led a series of 10 research studies identifying behavioral insights to help people choose better health insurance plans. Co-created issue brief series & webinar series for health insurance policymakers & stakeholders.
  • California Health Benefit Exchange: Applied behavioral science insights to design of Covered California health insurance exchange by working with IT and design vendors
  • Google: Conducted background research to measure organizational behavior by cataloguing and evaluating 200+ organizational behavior assessment tools.
Adjunct Professor | Sauder School of Business, University of British ColumbiaJanuary 2015 - June 2020
  • Taught multiple sections of undergraduate courses "Introduction to Marketing" and "Market Research" and graduate course "Marketing" (40-60 students).
  • Coached masters candidate teams through marketing projects with community business partners.
Postdoctoral Research Scientist & Graduate Student | Columbia University2004 - 2011
    Behavioral science research with the Center for Decision Sciences, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, and Motivation Science Center
  • Lead researcher for 30+ studies with 5,500+ participants, including design and testing of decision aid to help seniors make better financial decisions in retirement.
  • Created comprehensive database (the DMIDI) describing 200+ measures used in decision research; 125,000+ unique site visits in first 18 months and currently averages 25,000 page views per week; acquired by Society for Judgment and Decision Making.
  • Author on 11 papers in top journals and 35 presentations at international academic conferences.
  • Taught "Thinking and Decision Making", an undergraduate psychology course with 20 students; served as teaching assistant for undergraduate and MBA courses in research methods, psychology, marketing, and management (15-150 students).
Columbia UniversityPhD in Psychology2009
Dartmouth CollegeBA in Economics, magna cum laude2003

Grants: Co-authored 4 federal government grants, 3 university grants, & 2 private grants
Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, International Association for Conflict Management Dissertation Award Honorable Mention

My research explores how we can change the presentation of choices to make it easier to choose the best decisions for ourselves, society, and the planet.
  • Consumer finance: Knoll, M. A. Z., Appelt, K. C., Johnson, E. J., & Westfall, J. E. (2015). Time to retire: Why Americans claim benefits early and how to encourage delay. Behavioral Science and Policy, 1(1), 53-62.
  • Sustainability: Handgraaf, M. J. J., van Lidth de Jeude, M. A., & Appelt, K. C. (2013). Public praise vs. private pay: Effects of rewards on energy conservation in the workplace. Ecological Economics, 86, 86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.11.008
  • Healthcare: Appelt, K. C., Gao, J., Johnson, E. J., & von Glahn, T. (2014). Choosing how to choose: Can people choose the best choice architecture? Manuscript in preparation.
  • Interpersonal negotiation: Appelt, K. C., & Higgins, E. T. (2010). My way: How strategic preferences vary by negotiator role and regulatory focus. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1138-1142. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.010
Computer: SPSS, html, Qualtrics, LimeSurvey, & SurveyMonkey; experience with php, CSS, MySQL, R, & Salesforce
Stats: General Linear Models (incl. ANOVA, linear, & logistic regression), Mixed Models, & factor analysis

Connect with Kirstin:    ||  LinkedIn  ||  Google Scholar

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