Thinking Critically About the Environment

By: Alex Segrè Cohen

My name is Alex Segrè Cohen (she/they), and I am a fourth year PhD student in Psychology at USC. I’m a member of the Judgement and Decision-Making lab, run by Joe Àrvai, who is the Director of the Wrigley Institute.

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I study how people think and make decisions about emergent risks. Specifically, my research this summer focused on how to improve peoples’ abilities to make sustainability-related decisions that are in line with their values, or that are internally consistent.

As a Wrigley Sonosky Fellow, I began executing the last chapter of my dissertation. I developed a research design, built a network of collaborators, presented at two conferences, spoke on a panel, taught freshmen psychology students about decision-making, and worked with a Wrigley communications intern.


Upon the completion of my PhD, I am interested in conducting research, communicating science effectively, and having it be utilized by policymakers and stakeholders. I believe that research must have an impact; science is necessary not only for an increased understanding of the world, but also to make that world a more accessible, inclusive, and safe place. For these reasons, I am driven to pursue outreach opportunities, write about my work in blogs and op-eds, and engage with those that my research impacts.

My research on aiding people to think critically about environmental problems, as well as providing opportunities to enhance decision-making capabilities, has the potential to affect change in real and tangible ways, but only if I can successfully share it. I believe that overcoming our global sustainability challenges will be accomplished through meaningful and intentional decision- making, and I look forward to playing a role in these efforts.