Tommy Gärling

Professor Emeritus

Department of Psychology
Visiting address
Haraldsgatan 1
41314 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 500
40530 Göteborg

About Tommy Gärling


Tommy Gärling graduated in 1972 from Stockholm University with a Ph.D. in psychology. After positions 1973-1987 at Umeå University as Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology and Associate Professor of Psychology, he was in 1988 appointed as a Research Professor of Psychology and Planning at the Swedish Council of Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 1992 Tommy Gärling was appointed the endowed Professor of Psychology at University of Gothenburg. After his retirement 2008, he was until 2020 a researcher in the Centre for Finance in the School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg. Tommy Gärling have also had part-time positions at University of California Berkeley, Irvine, and Santa Barbara, University of Bergen, Aarhus School of Business, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and Centre for Service Research at Karlstad University.

Teaching experience

Tommy Gärling has developed, directed and taught the following courses:

  1. Research Method at advanced undergraduate level (Umeå University and University of Gothenburg)
  2. Experimental Method at graduate level (Umeå University and University of Gothenburg)
  3. Environmental Psychology at master level (Umeå University)
  4. Judgment and Decision Making at undergraduate and graduate levels (Umeå University and University of Gothenburg)
  5. Travel Behavior at graduate level (Karlstad University)
  6. Economic Psychology at master level (University of Gothenburg)

Research experience

After graduation Tommy Gärling and his graduate students at Umeå university conducted research on spatial cognition. Research topics included navigation and orientation in built environments, route planning and travel choice, and residential choice. The research was disseminated in doctoral dissertations and published internationally in environmental psychology, experimental and applied psychology, and geography journals. When Tommy Gärling moved to University of Gothenburg, he started basic research on judgment and decision making which resulted in several doctoral dissertations and publications in international journals. The research was later extended to topics involving interdisciplinary collaboration with political scientists, financial economists, and marketing researchers. Research topics included collective action, asset market investing and trading, and consuming, saving and borrowing decisions. Research on travel choice continued at an excellence center of research on market-oriented public transport at Karlstad University. From 1998 to 2002 Tommy Gärling was president of the Environmental Psychology Division of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and in 2014 was elected fellow of IAAP in recognition of his research in economic, environmental, and traffic and transport psychology. In 2018 the International Association of Travel Behavior Research presented Tommy Gärling its life time achievement award in recognition of outstanding and sustained contributions.

Selected publications

Gärling, T., & Golledge, R. G. (1989). Environmental perception and cognition. In E. H. Zube & G. T. Moore (Eds.), Advances in environment, behavior, and design (Vol. 2, pp. 203-236). New York: Plenum Press.

Gärling, T., & Evans, G. W. (Eds.) (1991). Environment, cognition, and action. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gärling, T. (Ed.) (1995). Readings in environmental psychology: Urban cognition. London: Academic Press.

Ben-Akiva, M., McFadden, D., Gärling, T., Gopinath, D., Walker, J., Bolduc, D., Borsch-Supan, A., Delquie, P., Larichev, O., Morikawa, T., Polydoropoulou, A., & Rao, V. (1999) Extended framework for modeling choice behavior. Marketing Letters, 10, 187-203.

Gärling, T., Biel, A., & Gustafsson, M. (2002). The human interdependence paradigm and its application in environmental psychology. In R. Bechtel & A. Churchman (Eds.), Handbook of environmental psychology (pp. 85-94). New York: Wiley.

Gärling, T., Backenroth-Ohsako, G., & Ekehammar, B. (Eds.) (2006). Diplomacy and psychology: Prevention of armed conflicts after the cold war. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. A collection of contributions to the “Dag Hammarskjöld Memorial Seminar: The contribution of psychological science to international negotiation, conflict prevention, and world peaceorganized by the editors at the XXVII International Congress of Psychology, Stockholm, 2000.

Gärling, T., & Steg, L. (Eds.) (2007). Threats from car traffic to the quality of urban life: Problems, causes, and solutions. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Gärling, T., & Fujii, S. (2009). Travel behavior modification: Theories, methods, and programs. In R. Kitamura, T. Yoshii & T. Yamamoto (Eds.), The expanding sphere of travel behaviour research (pp. 97-128). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Gärling, T., Kirchler, E., Lewis, A., & van Raaij, F. (2009). Psychology, financial decision making, and financial crises. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10(1), 1-47.

Gärling, T., Blomman, M., & Carle, T. A. (2017). Affect account of the disposition effect and consequences for stock prices. Review of Behavioral Finance, 9(2), 187-202. Emerald Literati Award for Outstanding Paper.

Gärling, T. (2019). Travel behavior and psychology: Life time achievement 1982-2018. In K. G. Goulias & A. W. Davis (Eds.), Mapping the travel behavior genome (pp. 48-61). New York: Elsevier. Invited chapter by the recipient of the life time achievement award from the International Association of Travel Behavior Research.

Gärling, T., Bamberg, S., & Friman, M. (2019). The role of attitude in choice of travel, satisfaction with travel, and change to sustainable travel. In D. Albarracin & B. T. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of attitudes: Applications (pp. 562-586). London: Routledge.