About Rainer Romero-Canyas

Rainer Romero-Canyas

Lead Senior Behavioral Social Scientist


Areas of expertise:

Social psychology of sustainability; climate change communication; behavioral interventions; experimental design


Rainer Romero-Canyas is a social and personality psychologist and EDF's Lead Senior Behavioral Social Scientist. His research has focused on the social and cognitive processes that influence how people think, feel and behave around environmental issues. His research at EDF has focused on how people's social identities strongly influence their thoughts, feelings and actions, and on the optimal communication of risk, complex science, and solutions to environmental problems.

In addition to research, Rainer advises EDF and its partners on how to utilize insights from psychological and social sciences in the design of programs and projects at EDF.


Member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Advisory Board member for Root Solutions, Inc.

PhD, Columbia University (Psychology, 2006) BA, Yale University (Psychology, 1998)


Lau, E. H., Rattan, A., Romero-Canyas, R., & Savani, K. (2022). Culturally relevant frames increase individuals’ motivation to contribute to carbon emissions offsets. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 53(10), 1211–1234. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220221221110465

Edmondson, D., Conroy, D., Romero-Canyas, R., Tanenbaum, M., & Czajkowski, S. (2022). Climate change, behavior change and health: a multidisciplinary, translational and multilevel perspective. Translational behavioral medicine, 12(4), 503–515. https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibac030

Skurka, C., Romero-Canyas, R., Joo, H. H., & Niederdeppe, J. (2022). Choose your own emotion: predictors of selective exposure to emotion-inducing climate messages. Environmental Communication, 16(3), 424-431. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2022.2083207

Skurka, C., Romero-Canyas, R., Joo, H. H., Acup, D., & Niederdeppe, J. (2022). Emotional appeals, climate change, and young adults: a direct replication of Skurka et al. (2018). Human Communication Research, 48, 147–156. https://doi.org/10.1093/hcr/hqab013

Pearson, A.R., Bacio, G.A., Naiman, S., Romero-Canyas, R., Schuldt, J. P. (2021). Cultural determinants of climate change opinion: familism predicts climate beliefs and policy support among US Latinos. Climatic Change 167, 11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03165-2

Preston, S. D., Liao, J. D., Toombs, T. P., Romero-Canyas, R., Speiser, J., & Seifert, C. M. (2021). A case study of a conservation flagship species: The monarch butterfly. Biodiversity and Conservation, 30, 2057–2077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-021-02183-x

Lewis, N. A., Bravo, M., Naiman, S., Pearson, A. R., Romero-Canyas, R., Schuldt, J. P., & Song, H. (2020). Using qualitative approaches to improve quantitative inferences in environmental psychology. MethodsX, 7, 100943. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.100943 

Song, H., Lewis, N. A., Ballew, M. T., Bravo, M., Davydova, J., Gao, H. O., Garcia, R. J., Hiltner, S., Naiman, S. M., Pearson, A. R., Romero-Canyas, R., & Schuldt, J. P. (2020). What counts as an “environmental” issue? Differences in issue conceptualization by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 101404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2020.101404 

Romero-Canyas, R., & Hiltner, S. (2020). Scaling up and out: psychological science in the service of promoting sustainable consumption. Journal of Social Issues. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12375 

Marin-Monroy, E. A., Romero-Canyas, R., Fraire-Cervantes, J. A., Larson-Konar, D., & Fujita, R. (2020). Compliance with rights-based fisheries management is associated with fishermen’s perceptions of peer compliance and experience: A case study in the Upper Gulf of California. Ocean & Coastal Management, 189, 105155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2020.105155 

Hardisty, D. J., Beall, A. T., Lubowski, R., Petsonk, A., & Romero-Canyas, R. (2019). A carbon price by another name may seem sweeter: Consumers prefer upstream offsets to downstream taxes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 66, 101342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.101342 

Lu, H., Romero-Canyas, R., Hiltner, S., Neltner, T., McCormick, L., & Niederdeppe, J. (2019). Research to Move Toward Evidence-Based Recommendations for Lead Service Line Disclosure Policies in Home Buying and Home Renting Scenarios. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(6), 963. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060963 

Hiltner, S., Romero-Canyas, R., McCormick, L., & Neltner, T. (2019). Using online tools to publicize lead service line locations and promote replacement. AWWA Water Science. https://doi.org/10.1002/aws2.1124 

Pearson, A. R., Schuldt, J. P., Romero-Canyas, R., Ballew, M. T., & Larson-Konar, D. (2018). Diverse segments of the US public underestimate the environmental concerns of minority and low-income Americans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201804698. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1804698115 

Battista, W., Romero-Canyas, R., Smith, S. L., Fraire, J., Effron, M., Larson-Konar, D., & Fujita, R. (2018). Behavior Change Interventions to Reduce Illegal Fishing. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00403 

Bencharit, L. Z., Ho, Y. W., Fung, H. H., Yeung, D. Y., Stephens, N. M., Romero-Canyas, R., & Tsai, J. L. (2018). Should job applicants be excited or calm? The role of culture and ideal affect in employment settings. Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000444 

Romero-Canyas, R., Larson-Konar, D., Redlawsk, D. P., Borie-Holtz, D., Gaby, K., Langer, S., & Schneider, B. (2018). Bringing the heat home: television spots about local impacts reduce global warming denialism. Environmental Communication, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1455725 

Skurka, C., Niederdeppe, J., Romero-Canyas, R., & Acup, D. (2018). Benefits and Tradeoffs of Using Fear or Humor to Promote Climate Change-Related Intentions and Risk Perceptions. Journal of Communication, 68(1), 169-193. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqx008 

Schuldt, J. P., Pearson, A. R., Romero-Canyas, R., & Larson-Konar, D. (2017). Brief exposure to Pope Francis increases Americans' perceptions of climate change as a moral issue. Climatic Change, 141(2), 141-167. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1893-9

Pearson, A. R., Schuldt, J. P., & Romero-Canyas, R. (2016) Social climate science: a new vista for psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(5),632-650. doi: 10.1177/1745691616639726