Spence's research experience includes time spent within both the academic and public sectors and has been involved with research within social, economic, and environmental psychology. Her primary area of expertise is within social cognition and risk and she has professional memberships of the British Psychological Society, the European Association of Social Psychologists, the European Social Cognition Network, the National Energy Research Network and the Society for Risk Analysis. She is also a member of the UK Energy Research Centre.
She completed her doctorate at the University of Nottingham on the topic of perceptions and behaviour relating to genetically modified (GM) food. Her postdoctoral experience comprises several posts based both at the University of Nottingham and Cardiff University and has focused on applying social psychological theory to current topical risk issues. In particular she has been involved in research on climate change and energy issues, examining related public perceptions, issues of acceptance, and behaviour.
She currently works across Psychology and Horizon Digital Economy Research where she brings her social and environmental theoretical backgrounds to new digital technology innovations, in particular energy display development and smart grid understandings. Notably Alexa leads a large 5 year project titled Creating the Energy for Change that examines how to encourage cooperation in reducing energy use in the workplace, and is involved with a range of projects examining public perceptions of energy systems and technologies, and climate change.