Academic Article Alert: Well-endowed rating systems

Unfortunately for me, Tripp Shealy graduated with his Ph.D. yesterday1. To relax this summer, he’s taking an intensive course on programming for big-data analytics. Then he’s off to Virginia Tech for a civil engineering faculty position, where I have no doubt he will continue his influential teaching and research (and kayaking – that’s Tripp in the picture).

Recently, one of the first papers from Tripp’s Ph.D. research was published in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management: “Well-Endowed Rating Systems: How Modified Defaults Can Lead to More Sustainable Performance.”

trippThe paper is more than just a great title. It also describes research showing that how we structure sustainability rating systems will shape sustainability outcomes. In particular, Tripp found that, simply modifying the default, by endowing points rather than requiring they be earned, led to designers setting higher goals for sustainability.

Tripp and I continue work on this interdisciplinary research with Edy Moulton, Elke Weber, and Eric Johnson, who study decision-making at Columbia University. We’ve learned a ton from the collaboration and expect some joint publications coming soon!

  1. Of course I’m happy that Tripp finished up, and I look forward to continuing to work with him. []

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