Kirstin C. Appelt
Behavioral Science Consultant

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Adjunct Professor | Sauder School of Business, University of British ColumbiaJanuary 2015 - present
  • Member of the Decision Insights for Business and Society (DIBS) initiative at UBC Sauder School of Business
  • Teach multiple sections of undergraduate courses “Introduction to Marketing” and "Market Research" and graduate course "Marketing" (40-60 students); average rating by students: 4.5 out of 5.
  • Coach masters candidate teams through marketing projects with community business partners.
Behavioral Science ConsultantJanuary 2012 - 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 user design (UX), product development, marketing content, 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:
    • White papers, issue briefs, research reports, & academic papers
    • Webinars, workshops, & presentations for academic, industry, policy, student, & general audiences
    Sample projects include:
  • BC BIG & DIBS: Led planning for BIG Difference BC, a series of BI conferences bringing together academics and practitioners, as well as co-hosted and presented.
  • PBGH: Led research project (10 studies, 2,800+ participants) identifying behavioral science insights to help 13+ million consumers choose better health insurance plans
  • PBGH: Co-created 10 behavioural insights issue briefs & 15+ webinars/presentations 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
Postdoctoral Research Scientist & Research Fellow | Columbia University2004 - 2011
    Behavioral science research and communication 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 studentsl average rating by students: 4.5 out of 5.
  • 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 2 private grants & 3 federal government grants
Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, International Association for Conflict Management Dissertation Award Honorable Mention

Consumers often struggle with important decisions about their future. My research indicates that changing how these decisions are presented and training consumers to approach them differently helps consumers make the best decisions for themselves across many domains.
  • 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

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