Sustainability

Fall 2023 LASARS Winners: Sara He, Joseph Guerriero, and Zoe Baker

Fall 2023 LASARS Winners: Sara He, Joseph Guerriero, and Zoe Baker

Meet Sara He, Joseph Guerriero, and Zoe Baker, the recipients of the Liberal ArtsStudent Award for Research on Sustainability.

Sara He is in her third year of graduate school at Penn State. She works with Dr. Karen Gasper at the Feelings, Behavior, and Information Processing Lab. In 2020, she received her Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Chicago.

He’s current research focuses primarily on comprehending the intricate relationship between emotions and human decision-making. She is interested in investigating how attention affects our emotional experiences.

For her LASARS’s research, He will analyze the relationship between environmentally friendly consumption behaviors and time poverty. She states that, “Despite the fact that many people in modern society recognize the importance of sustainability, their consumption patterns frequently deviate from this belief, possibly due to time constraints”. To validate her hypothesis, she will employ experiments under varying time conditions and use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze social media discussions on the topic.

Joseph Guerriero is a PhD candidate in Social Psychology and Social Data Analytics. Upon graduating in 2025, he will seek a full-time industry position in quantitative and computational research science/data science.

Guerriero explores the psychological determinants of public support for environmentally sustainable policies. He is also involved in a cross-disciplinary project to develop a web application where both researchers and the public can explore various trends in economic and health outcomes in the United States.

Guerriero’s LASARS’s research will explore the relationship between environmental sustainability and the human motivation for establishing a posthumous legacy. This research seeks to illuminate thought processes when writing about their desired posthumous legacy, how these themes may differ among demographic groups, and which themes are positively associated with support for environmental sustainability. He will use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and standard regression techniques.

Zoe Baker is a PhD student in psychology. She works alongside Dr. Janet Swim in the Pro-Environmental Action (PAct) lab. She is also the graduate student assistant to the Penn State College of Liberal Arts Sustainability Council.

Baker is interested in exploring how emotions, attributes of policy, and perceptions of pro-environmental actions, behaviors, and decisions. Her LASARS research will investigate climate policy preferences in Pennsylvania. She will re-test Pennsylvania resident’s evaluations of a business tax cut, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and Renewable Portfolio Standards. This research will test whether decision structure removes the influence of political identities on policy evaluations.