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P. Wesley Schultz, Ph.D

P. Wesley Schultz, Ph.D

Professor of Psychological Science

P. Wesley Schultz, Ph.D

Wesley Schultz is Professor of Psychology at CSUSM, where he teaches courses in social psychology, environmental psychology, and statistics. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1990, and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 1995.

Professor Schultz is a social psychologist, whose research focuses on social influence and behavior change. Much of his research involves the application of social psychological principles or methods to understand and solve social problems. Recent projects include studies on environmental programs (e.g., energy conservation, water conservation, recycling, and green marketing), the behavioral dimensions of climate change, cross-cultural research on environmental attitudes, and longitudinal research on programs aimed at encouraging underrepresented students to pursue careers in science.



Current Research:

At a general level, my research involves the application of social psychological theory and methods to the understanding and solution of social problems. At a theoretical level, I am interested in social cognitive processes, individual differences in social cognition, and social influence. Recent projects include studies of environmental attitudes, lab and field research on stereotypes and stereotype threat, and field research on environmental programs such as recycling, water conservation, preventing marine debris, and energy conservation. 

Here is a partial list of some of the projects currently underway in the Applied Social Psychology Laboratory at CSUSM:

  • Normative social influence: This is a continuing line of research, building on our previous studies showing the strong influence of social norms on behavior. Current studies are examining the causal links between normative information, normative beliefs, referent groups, and behaviors.
  • Longitudinal research on the development of environmental attitudes: In previous studies, we have created several tools for measuring connectedness with nature. Using these tools, we are currently studying the childhood experiences that are associated with later-life attitudes, concerns, and behaviors related to environmental protection. 
  • Applied social marketing projects: Over the past few years, we have been actively involved in the application of social psychological principles to environmental behaviors in California and across the nation. 
  • Issues of diversity and underrepresentation: A multi-disciplinary research team led by Dr. Schultz is tracking the academic pathways of science students from underrepresented groups. These longitudinal studies aim to understand the factors that cause underrepresentation in certain careers, and to inform efforts designed to support diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. 


Fall, 2022:

Social Psychology (PSYC 332). Online. 

Independent Research (PSYC 498/499)


Spring, 2023:



My current CV is available as a PDF.


Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

* designates my student at the time the work was completed.

Schultz, P. W. (2022). Secret agents of influence: Leveraging social norms for good. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Pedersen, R., Ferguson, C., Estrada, M., Schultz, P. W., Woodcock, A., & Hernandez, P. (2022). Similarity and contact frequency promote mentorship quality among Hispanic undergraduates in STEM. CBE: Life Sciences Education.

Routman, E., Khalil, K., Schultz, P. W., & Keith, R. (2022). Beyond inspiration: Translating zoo and aquarium experiences into conservation behavior. Zoo Biology.

*Bonilla, A., Schultz, P. W., Woodcock, A., & Hernandez, P. (2022). Diversifying STEM: Communal goal mismatch predicts student intentions. Social Psychology of Education.

*Mertens, S., & Schultz, P.W. (2021). Referent group specificity: Optimizing normative feedback to increase residential recycling. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 73, 101541.

Wolske, K., Gillingham, K., & Schultz, P. W. (2020). Social influence on household energy behavior. Nature: Energy, 5, 202-212.

Schultz, P. W., Sorokina, A., & Javey, J. (2019). Social comparison as a tool to promote residential water conservation. Frontiers in Water. Available online at:

Bergquist, M., Nilsson, A., & Schultz, P.W. (2019). A meta-analysis of field-experiments using social norms to promote pro-environmental behaviors. Global Climate Change, 59. 

*DeDominicis, S., *Sokoloski, R., *Jaeger, C., & Schultz, P.W. (2019). Making the smart meter social promotes long-term energy conservation. Palgrave Communications, 5, 1-8. Available online at:

Berquist, M., Nillson, A., & Schultz, P. W. (2019). Experiencing a severe weather event increases concern about climate change. Frontiers in Psychology. Available online at:

Wang, J., Geng, L., Schultz, P. W., & Zhou, K. (2019). Mindfulness increases the belief in climate change: The mediating role of connectedness with nature. Environment and Behavior, 51, 3-23. Available online at:

Bator, R., Phelps, K., Tabanico, J., Schultz, P. W., & Walton, M. (2019). When it’s not about the money: Social comparison can promote energy conservation when residents don’t pay utility bills.  Energy Research and Social Science, 56.

Schultz, P. W., Nolan, J., Cialdini, R., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2018). The constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms—Reprise.  Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13,249-254. Available online at:

Schultz, P. W., Sorokina, A., & Javey, J. (2018). Smart water meters and data analytics decrease wasted water due to leaks. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 110, 24-30. Available online at:

Hernandez, P., Woodcock, A., Estrada, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2018). Undergraduate research experiences broaden diversity in the scientific workforce. BioScience, 68,204-211Available online at:

Estrada, M., Hernandez, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2018). A longitudinal study of how quality mentorship and research experience integrate underrepresented minorities into STEM careers. CBE: Life Science Education, 17.

*Jaeger, C., & Schultz, P. W. (2017). Coupling social norms and commitments: Testing the underdetected nature of social influence. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 51,199-208.

Phelps, K., Large, L., Schultz, P. W., & Ettlinger, J. (2017). Keeping compostables out of the trash. BioCycle, 58,16. Available online at:

Hernandez, P., Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., & Schultz, P.W. (2017). Protégé perceptions of high mentorship quality depend on shared values more than on demographic match. Journal of Experimental Education, 85,450-468.

Sintov, N., & Schultz, P. W. (2017). Adjustable green defaults can help make smart homes more sustainable. Sustainability, 9, 622. Open access publication available online at:

Bain, P. …Schultz, P. W., Einarsdóttir, G., & Saviolidis, N. (2017). How the co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action across the world. Nature: Climate Change, 6, 154-157. doi:10.1038/nclimate2814.

*De Dominicis, S., Schultz, P. W., & Bonaiuto, M. (2017). Protecting the environment for self-interested reasons: Altruism is not the only pathway to sustainability. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-13. Open access publication available online at:

*Jaeger, C., & Schultz, P. W. (2017). Coupling social norms and commitments: Testing the underdetected nature of social influence. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

Nillson, A., Berquist, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2017). Spillover effects in environmental behaviors across time and context: A review and research agenda. Environmental Education Research, 23, 573-589. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1250148.

Tang, Y., Geng, L., Schultz, P. W., & Zhou, K. (2017). The effects of mindful learning on pro-environmental behavior: A self-expansion perspective. Consciousness and Cognition, 51, 140-148.

Bruni, C., Winter, P., Schultz, P., Omoto, A., & Tabanico, J. (2017). Getting to know nature: Connecting youth to nature through the get to know your wild neighbors program. Environmental Education Research, 23, 43-62.

Hizer, S., Bray, R., & Schultz, P. W. (2017). Supplemental instruction online: As effective as the traditional face-to-face model? Journal of Science, Education, and Technology, 26, 100-115.

Milfont, T., Bain, P., Kashima, Y., … Schultz, P. W., Saiz, J. L., Kurz, T., Gifford, R., Akotia, C., Saviolidis, N., & Einarsdóttir, G. (2017). On the relation between social dominance orientation and environmentalism: A 25-nation study. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9, 802-814. DOI: 10.1177/1948550617722832

Milfont, T., & Schultz, P. W. (2016). Culture and the natural environment. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8 194-199.

Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2016). Diversifying science: Intervention programs moderate the effect of stereotype threat on motivation and career choice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7, 184-192. doi:10.1177/1948550615608401

Schultz, P. W., *Messina, A., *Tronu, G., *Limas, E., & Gupta, R., & Estrada, M. (2016). Personalized normative feedback and the moderating role of personal norms: A field experiment to reduce residential water consumption. Environment and Behavior, 48, 686-710.

Nolan, J., & Schultz, P. W. (2015). Prosocial behavior and environmental action. In D. Schroeder & W. Graziano (Eds.), Handbook of prosocial behavior (pp. 626-652). Oxford University Press.

Tabanico, J. J., Schultz, P. W., & Schmitt, J. (2015). Driving change: Applying theoretical models in social marketing. In D. Stuart (Ed.), Handbook of persuasion and social marketing (Vol. 2, pp. 119-153). Praeger. 

Schultz, P. W., Estrada, M., *Schmitt, J., *Sokoloski, R., & Silva-Send, N. (2015). Using in-home displays to provide smart meter feedback about household electricity consumption: A randomized control trial comparing kilowatts, cost, and social norms. Energy, 90, 351-358.

Schultz, P. W., Colehour, J., Vohr, J., Bonn, L., Bullock, A., & Sadler, A. (2015). Using social marketing to spur the adoption of ENERGY STAR-certified LED lighting. Social Marketing Quarterly, 21, 61-78.

Sintov, N., & Schultz, P. W. (2015). Unlocking the potential of smart grid technologies with behavioral science. Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology, 6, article 410. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00410. Available online through open access at:

Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., & Schultz, P. W. (2014). Tailored panel management: A theory-based approach to building and maintaining participant commitment to a longitudinal study. Evaluation Review. 38, 3-28.

Schultz, P. W. (2014). Strategies for promoting proenvironmental behavior: Lots of tools but few instructions. European Psychologist, 19, 107-117.  [Special Issue on Sustainability]. Doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000163. 

Bator, R., Tabanico, J., Walton, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2014). Energy conservation in a public space: The role of implied norms and explicit messages. Social Influence, 9, 69-82.  DOI:10.1080/15534510.2013.778213

Schultz, P. W., Milfont, T., *Chance, R., *Tronu, G., Luis, S., Ando, K., Rasool, F., & Roose, P. L., Ogunbode, D., Castro, J., & Gouveia, V. (2014). Cross-cultural evidence for spatial bias in beliefs about environmental problems. Environment and Behavior, 46, 266-301. doi: 10.1177/0013916512458579

Van Vugt, M., Griskevicius, V., & Schultz, P. W. (2014). Naturally green: Harnessing “stone age” biases to foster environmental conservation behavior. Social Issues and Policy Review, 8, 1-32.

Hernandez, P. R., Schultz, P. W., Estrada, M., *Chance, R., & Woodcock, W. (2013). Sustaining optimal motivation: A longitudinal analysis of interventions to broaden participation of underrepresented students in STEM. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 89-107. doi: 10.1037/a0029691

Schultz, P. W., Bator, R., Tabanico, J., *Bruni, C., Large, L. B. (2013). Littering in context: Personal and environmental predictors of littering behavior. Environment and Behavior, 45, 35 - 59. doi: 10.1177/0013916511412179  

Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., Estrada, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). The consequences of chronic stereotype threat: Domain identification and attrition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 635-646. doi: 10.1037/a0029120

Schultz, P. W., & Kaiser, F. G. (2012). Promoting proenvironmental behavior. In S. Clayton (Ed.), Handbook of environmental and conservation psychology (pp. 556-580). Oxford University Press.

Schultz, P. W. (2011). Conservation means behavior. Conservation Biology, 25, 1080-1083.

Schultz, P. W., Hernandez, P., Woodcock, A., Estrada, M., *Chance, R., *Aguilar, M., & Serpe, R. (2011). Patching the pipeline: Reducing educational disparities in the sciences through minority training programs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33, 95-114. 

Schultz, P. W. (2011, April). The cave of truth. Score, 23(2), 4. Available online at:

Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Toward a social influence framework that explains minority student integration into the scientific community. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 206-222.

Göckeritz, S., Schultz, P. W., & *Rendón, T., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2010). Descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior: The moderating role of personal involvement and injunctive normative beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 514-523.

Bruni, C., & Schultz, P. W. (2010). Implicit beliefs about self and nature: Evidence from an IAT game. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 95-102.

Schultz, P. W., & *Tabanico, J. T. (2009). Criminal beware: A social norms perspective on posting public warning signs. Criminology, 47, 1201-1222.

*Nolan, J., Schultz, P. W., Cialdini, R. B., Griskevicius, V., & Goldstein, N. (2008). Normative social influence is underdetected. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 913-923.

Schultz, P. W., *Khazian, A., & *Zaleski, A. (2008). Using normative social influence to promote conservation among hotel guests. Social Influence, 3, 4-23.

Schultz, P. W., *Nolan, J., Cialdini, R., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2007). The constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms.  Psychological Science, 18, 429-434.

Schultz, P. W., & *Tabanico, J. (2007). Self, identity, and the natural environment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1219-1247.

Schultz, P. W., *Shriver, C., *Tabanico, J., & *Khazian, A. (2004). Implicit connections with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 31-42.

Schultz, P. W., & Zelezny, L. (2003). Reframing environmental messages to be congruent with American values. Human Ecology Review, 10, 126-136.

Schultz, P. W. (2002). Inclusion with nature: Understanding the psychology of human-nature interactions. In P. Schmuck, & P. W. Schultz (Eds.), The psychology of sustainable development (pp. 61-78). New York: Kluwer.

Schultz, P. W. (2002). Knowledge, education, and household recycling: Examining the knowledge-deficit model of behavior change. In T. Dietz & P. Stern (Eds.), New tools for environmental protection (pp. 67-82). Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences.

Schultz P. W., & Searleman, A. (2002). Rigidity of thought and behavior: 100 years of research. Psychology Monographs, 128, 165-207.

Schultz, P. W. (2001). Assessing the structure of environmental concern: Concern for self, other people, and the biosphere. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21, 1-13.

Schultz, P. W. (2000). Empathizing with nature: The effects of perspective-taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 391-406.

Schultz, P. W., & Zelezny, L. (1999). Values as predictors of environmental attitudes: Evidence for consistency across 14 countries. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, 255-265.

Schultz, P. W. (1999). Changing behavior with normative feedback interventions: A field experiment of curbside recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21, 25-36.

Schultz, P. W., Stone, W. F., & Christie, R. (1997). Authoritarianism and mental rigidity: The Einstellung problem revisited. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 3-9.

Books and Edited Volumes:

McKenzie-Mohr, D., Lee, N., Schultz, P. W., & Kotler, P. (2012). Social marketing to protect the environment: What works. Thousand Oaks, Sage.

Smith, J. E., Louis, W., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Social influence in action. [Special Issue]. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Available online at:

Oskamp, S., & Schultz, P. W. (2005). Attitudes and opinions (3rd). Mahawa , NJ: Erlbaum.

Schmuck, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2002). The psychology of sustainable development. Norwell, MA: Kluwer.

Zelezny, L., & Schultz, P. W. (2000). Theory and research on environmental attitudes and behavior. [Special Edition]. Journal of Social Issues.

Schultz, P. W., & Oskamp, S. (2000). Social psychology: An applied perspective. Upper Saddle Rive r, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Oskamp, S., & Schultz, P. W. (1998). Applied social psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Copies of publications are available upon request.

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