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Dr. Diane Pelly

Assistant Professor (Sociology)


SHORT FORM BIO Dr. Diane Pelly, Assistant Professor of Behavioural Science, Department of Sociology, TCD I am currently an Assistant Professor of Applied Behavioural Science, based in the Department of Sociology. For the past 1.5 years I have been teaching an 8-week Applied Behavioural Science Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module which I designed from scratch and which targets working professionals from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The module provides an overview of the key concepts in Behavioural Science and how they can be applied to influence decision making and to change behaviour in the realm of public policy, human resource management (recruitment, employee well-being and engagement, employee retention, incentive design), branding, advertising, marketing, product design. I am an active member of the UCD Behavioural Science and Public Policy Group. I was awarded a PhD in Behavioural Economics in 2022. I was supervised by Professor Liam Delaney, Head of the Behavioural Science Unit at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Dr. Orla Doyle (Deputy Head of the School of Economics, UCD). My external examiner was Professor Nick Powdthavee, an acknowledged expert in subjective well-being. The title of my thesis was "Worker well-being: antecedents, measurement and consequences". The central theme was worker well-being - how to measure it; how to use it to predict economically important behaviours (e.g., quits; absenteeism etc.) and how to potentially improve it using targeted interventions. I use several methods in my research including primary surveys, longitudinal panel data and randomised controlled trial (RCT) field experiments. My research interests include behavioural science; behaviour change; work practices and worker well-being; employee engagement and retention; WFH /homeworking; happiness, mental and physical health and all things well-being-related. As part of my thesis research I successfully partnered with a large Irish public sector organisation on a well-being RCT and I am keen to explore potential collaborations with other organisations in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. I also hold a 1st class hon BSc Psychology from The Open University and a 1st class hon BComm International (German) from UCD, as well as a 1st class hons MPhil in Finance and Economics from the University of Cambridge. My research interests are informed by my experiences of working in the corporate sector. Prior to my academic career, I worked in the private financial sector (Citigroup; Zurich Insurance Group) for 20 years in London, Dublin and the US. I have extensive experience of working at manager and board level in the areas of corporate finance, project finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, debt restructuring and investor relations. My contact details are as follows:;
  Applied Psychology   Behaviour Change   Behavioural change interventions   Behavioural Economics   Behavioural Psychology   Behavioural Science   Burnout   Decision Making in Uncertainty   Digital Behavioural Change Interventions   FIELD EXPERIMENTS   HOME WORKING   Job satisfaction   LABOUR SATISFACTION   PRODUCTIVITY   RCT   REMOTE WORKING   SURVEY RESEARCH   WFH   Work Engagement   WORK FROM HOME   WORK PERFORMANCE   Worker retention   WORKER WELLBEING   WORKER WELLNESS
Details Date
Interviewed by John Meagher for an article in the Irish Independent on consumer spending behaviour 18/89/2023
Book chapter peer reviewer - forthcoming Routledge edition on Wellbeing and Public Policy 9/2023
Journal Reviewer - Personnel Review 4/2023
Journal Reviewer - Cambridge Prisms January 2023
Journal Reviewer - Frontiers in Psychology 8/2023
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Basic Basic Basic
German Fluent Medium Medium
Italian Medium Medium Basic
Spanish Fluent Medium Medium
Details Date From Date To
GAABS (The Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists) 2022 Current
UCD Behavioural Science and Policy Group 2017 Current
British Psychological Society 2016 Current
Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network 2018 current
Diane Pelly, Worker well-being and quit intentions: is measuring job satisfaction enough?, 2023, Notes: [Investigates the links between alternative measures of worker well-being and quit intentions], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Diane Pelly, Michael Daly, Liam Delaney, Orla Doyle, Worker stress, burnout, and wellbeing before and during the COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom, Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 13 - 2022, 2022, p1047 - 1060, Notes: [Paper examines the impact of lockdown and working from home on worker wellbeing in the UK. Has received 2,795 views online as at Feb 2023, which places it in the top 1/3 of Frontiers articles viewed], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Diane Pelly and Orla Doyle, Nudging in the workplace: increasing participation in employee EDI wellness events, Geary Institute and virtual, 2022, Working Paper, PRESENTED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

Diane Pelly, Liam Delaney and Orla Doyle, Making homeworking work: preferences and experiences of homeworkers during COVID-19, Geary Institute Public Policy Response to COVID-19 series " "Making homeworking work", Geary Institute and virtual, 6/8/2020, 2020, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Nominated for UCD Maire de Paor 2023 Best Thesis Award 10/2023
UCD PhD Scholarship 9/2018-9/2020
IRC Government of Ireland PhD Scholarship 9/2020 - 9/2022
Best Presentation Award, NERD (Newcastle Economics Research Department) Conference May 2021
BPS (British Psychological Society) Graduate Award for graduating with the highest grade in The Open University's BSc Psychology 6/2016
University of Cambridge Scholarship for academic excellence 9/1994-6/1995
UCD Dean's List Award for Academic Excellence 6/1994; 6/1992
DAAD German Government Travel Scholarship 9/1992 - 9/1993; 9/1990; & 6/1987
UCD Entrance Scholarship 9/1990
My research interests comprise three main threads: 1) Worker well-being and productivity: worker well-being measurement, antecedents and economic outcomes; remote working / WFH; design, testing and evaluation of worker well-being / worker wellness events and initiatives 2) Subjective well-being and mental health: measurement and outcomes e.g. impact of technology and social media on well-being etc. 3) Behavioural economics / behavioural science and behaviour change: how behavioural insights can be applied to influence decision-making and change behaviour e.g. behaviourally informed nudges. In particular I am interested in testing the effectiveness of nudges using lab and field experiments