Sandra Bogelein is a faculty member at the Corporate Theatre. Sandra has received a German Diploma in Psychology from the University of Heidelberg, with specializations in research methods, clinical, health and environmental psychology and gathered experience in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction.
She went on to obtain a PhD in Environmental Psychology from the University of East Anglia focusing on perceptions linked to climate change mitigation and teaches research methods at the School of Developmental Studies.
At The Corporate Theatre she works with groups to help participants reconnect with their personal inspiration and therefore enthuse others. She is particularly interested in how relationships and leadership can be improved by open, personal and reflective communication.
When and where do you feel most inspired?
I feel most inspired when I can be active and openly show and fight for what I believe in. This can be at a big demonstration where thousands of people come together to voice their concern about climate change. These marches are full of energy and open emotions of fear, frustration and anger, but also a lot of joy. It often resembles a carnival where we celebrate to meet so many like-minded people from all varieties of life. I am always moved by how deeply people care about future generations and our environment.
Is there a concept in Psychology you find particularly fascinating?
I am intrigued by what we call cognitive dissonance. When we act in contrast to our values or beliefs, it creates a unique painful sensation. We then have two options: we either alter our behavior to be in line with our values or we can put our values to the back and weaken them. As an environmental psychologist, I am basically trying to keep people connected to their environmental values so they feel strong cognitive dissonance when acting in a non-environmentally friendly way. The second part of my job is then to empower them to act in line with these values and reduce dissonance.
What’s in it for business?
People want to act in line with their values and beliefs, it makes them feel good and consistent. Businesses will hugely profit from engaging with their customers and offering products and services that are in line with core values of these customers.
Who has inspired you on your way?
One of the people that has really inspired me was a very senior German professor in clinical psychology. He approached people with a pure fascination and appreciated people’s unique and creative (if also at times detrimental) ways of dealing with situations and coping with stresses. He always asked the question: What is the purpose of his/her behavior, how does it help the person cope?
Tell me something about you that nobody knows.
I am unfortunately hugely drawn to trashy romantic novels.