Professor Taciano L. Milfont

([email protected])

About Taciano

Scholar in applied social psychology, Professor Milfont is known for applying insights from social and behavioural sciences to address environmental problems and other social issues.

Regarded as a key environmental psychology scholar, her is ranked 1st out of all researchers in the world who have listed ‘conservation psychology’ as one of their areas of research expertise, and also former Associate Editor of the two main journals in the field (Environment and Behavior and Journal of Environmental Psychology).

He obtained his PhD in social and environmental psychology at The University of Auckland in 2007 under the supervision of Professor John Duckitt. This was followed by a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the School of Population Health examining the impact of schools’ climate on the health and well-being of students. Prior to this he received his BA (organisational psychology, 1999) and MSc (social psychology, 2001) from Brazilian universities.

Before joining The University of Waikato, he worked at Victoria University of Wellington for twelve years (2008-2020), becoming Deputy Director, Co-Director and Director of its Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research (2015-2019). In 2010 he established the very first environmental psychology course in New Zealand.

Over the years he has held visiting scholar positions in universities around the world, including Humboldt University (Germany), Hokkaido University (Japan), California State University in San Marcos (USA), University of Toulouse and Paris 8 University (France), University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal), and Federal University of Paraiba (Brazil).

His research has been funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand (Fast-Start Marsden Fund), National Science Challenges (Sustainable Seas, Biological Heritage, Resilience to Nature's Challenges), Australian Research Council (Discovery Project), and other funding agencies. And his publications have appeared in top outlets, including Nature journals (Communications, Climate Change, Sustainability, Human Behaviour), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Global Environmental Change, as well as in multiple top psychology journals.

He is a member of the Advisory Board and researcher of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, a longitudinal national probability panel survey of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes of more than 60,000 New Zealanders led by Professor Chris G. Sibley from the University of Auckland. And he has a very strong track-record in publishing with current/former students and helping them secure academic and non-academic positions.


Culture; Environment Issues; Environmental Risks; Psychology

[Environmental Psychology; Cross-Cultural Psychology; Applied Social Psychology]

Research Interests

Taciano have many research interests, from cross-cultural and longitudinal research methods, psychometrics, replications and survey designs to broad applications of psychological science to environmental and social issues. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these topics.

All his publications can be viewed/downloaded here, and citation information is available on Google Scholar.

Key Publications:

Bago, B., Kovacs, M., Protzko, J., Nagy, T.,Kekecs, Z., Palfi, B., … Milfont, T. L., … & Aczel, B. (2022). Situational factors shape moral judgments in the trolley dilemma in Eastern, Southern, and Western countries in a culturally diverse sample. Nature Human Behavior.

Bain, P. G., Milfont, T. L., Kashima, Y., Bilewicz, M., Doron, G., Garðarsdóttir, R. B., … & Saviolidis, N. M. (2016). Co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action around the world. Nature Climate Change, 6, 154-157.

Milfont, T. L., Bain, P. G., Kashima, Y., Corral-Verdugo, V., Pasquali, C., Johansson, L.-O., … & Einarsdóttir, G. (2018). On the relation between social dominance orientation and environmentalism: A 25-nation study. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9, 802-814.

Milfont, T. L., Zubielevitch, E., Milojev, P., & Sibley, C. G. (2021). Ten-year panel data confirm generation gap but climate beliefs increase at similar rates across ages. Nature Communications, 12, 4038.

Milfont, T. L., Richter, I., Sibley, C. G., Wilson, M. S., & Fischer, R. (2013). Environmental consequences of the desire to dominate and be superior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1127-1138.

Sibley, C. G., Greaves, L., Satherley, N., Wilson, M., Lee, C., Milojev, P., ... Milfont, T. L., ... & Barlow, F. (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on trust, attitudes towards government, and wellbeing. American Psychologist, 75, 618-630.

Thomson, R., Yuki, M., Talhelm, T., Schug, J., Kito, M., Ayanian, A., … Milfont, T. L., … & Visserman, M. L. (2018). Relational mobility predicts social behaviors in 39 countries and is tied to historical farming and threat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 7521-7526.

Vilanova, F., Milfont, T. L., & Costa, A. B. (2022). A dual process social psychological model of corrupt intention and attitudes toward corrupt people. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.

Recent Publications

  • Hobbs, M., Milfont, T. L., Marek, L., Yogeeswaran, K., & Sibley, C. G. (2022). The environment an adult resides within is associated with their health behaviours, mental and physical health outcomes: A nationwide geospatial study. Social Science and Medicine, 114801. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114801

  • Vilanova, F., Milfont, T. L., & Costa, A. B. (2022). A Dual Process Social Psychological Model of corrupt intention and attitudes toward corrupt people. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31 pages. doi:10.1037/pspp0000414

  • Milfont, T. L., Osborne, D., & Sibley, C. G. (2022). Socio-political efficacy explains increase in New Zealanders’ pro-environmental attitudes due to COVID-19. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 79, 101751. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101751

  • Duff, H., Vignoles, V. L., Becker, M., & Milfont, T. L. (2022). Self-construals and environmental values in 55 cultures. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 79, 101722. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101722

View all research publications by Taciano Milfont

Papers Taught