Article

Green Defaults: Information Presentation and Pro-environmental Behaviour

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Abstract

There is inconsistency in many people's choice of electricity. When asked, they say they prefer a ‘green’ (i.e., environmentally friendly) source for this energy. Yet, although green electricity is available in many markets, people do not generally buy it. Why not? Motivated by behavioural decision research, we argue that the format of information presentation drastically affects the choice of electricity. Specifically, we hypothesise that people use the kind of electricity that is offered to them as the default. We present two natural studies and two experiments in the laboratory that support this hypothesis. In the two real-world situations, there was a green default, and most people used it. In the first laboratory experiment, more participants chose the green utility when it was the default than when ‘grey’ electricity was the default. In the second laboratory experiment, participants asked for more money to give up green electricity than they were willing to pay for it. We argue that changing defaults can be used to promote pro-environmental behaviour. Potential policy-making applications of this work are discussed.

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... This means that while attitudes towards RES are positive, they don't necessarily convert into actions/adoption decisions. This finding is aligned to literature as attitude-action gaps have been found prevalent in other pro-RES economies as well ( (Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008) (Hobman & Frederiks, 2014) (Litvine & Wüstenhagen, 2011)) For large consumers of electricity (C&I consumers) who are often direct users of RES (in form of wind energy/solar energy), WTP is found to range between Rs. 50,000 -Rs. 60,000/KW of project size, based on current investments made in RES. ...
... It refers to the phenomena that consumers hold positive attitude towards green energy, but when made available in the market to purchase; they show reluctance towards consuming it. In Germany -a country with aggressive RES penetration targets and considerably high green energy presence owing to the "Energiewende" (Buchan, 2012), consumers are pro-renewables at the face of it, but when given a choice to switch electricity suppliers (from conventional "grey" energy to "green energy"), the switching rates are considerably low (Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008). Similar attitude -action gaps applicable to RES adoption were also observed in Australia, best explained by the lack of knowledge and procedural information about green energy contracts (Hobman & Frederiks, 2014). ...
... Similar attitude -action gaps applicable to RES adoption were also observed in Australia, best explained by the lack of knowledge and procedural information about green energy contracts (Hobman & Frederiks, 2014). A remedy can be found in 'green energy defaults' -where green electricity is made the default electricity supply option (Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008). In line with literature, the current study also reveals that the Indian residential consumers too suffer from the attitude-action gap with respect to adopting green electricity supply (however demands a more in-depth investigation and can be a subject of future research agenda). ...
Thesis
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This doctoral thesis investigated the Willingness To Pay for Renewable Energy amongst residential, Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers in the state of Maharashtra. The WTP for residential consumers was estimated using the stated preference method (contingent valuation) based on data collected from 472 residential respondents. Alongside, grounded theory was used to understand WTP for RE amongst C&I consumers, based on 14 in-depth interviews conducted with corporate RE users. Study recommended social, technological, economical and regulatory changes required to boost RE adoption amongst all segments.
... Taking into account that we were able to recruit 518 participants (150+ under each treatment scenario), our study is capable of detecting even a small effect size (d = 0.2) with 38% power in a two-sided hypothesis test. Note that our sample is more powered than previous GED experiments (Pichert and Katsikopoulos (2008) Ebeling & Lotz, 2015-Experiment 2 (N = 290), Momsen and Stoerk (2014) (N = 118) and Ghesla (2017) (N = 161)). However, it is smaller than two studies with larger samples (Ebeling and Lotz (2015)-Experiment 1 (N = 41,952) and Hedlin and Sunstein (2016) (N = 1,245)). ...
... Income or financial constraints (and related educational level) are often cited as the most important factors that prevent or promote the adoption of renewable energy (cf. Hobman & Frederiks, 2014;Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008;Zarnikau, 2003). Gender and age have also been put forward, although the results are inconclusive (cf. ...
... Electricity contracts and, thus, price and the corresponding use of renewable energy have been identified as having an impact on an individual's decision to choose a green or standard energy carrier (Bird et al., 2002;Mozumder et al., 2011), and this observation has been confirmed in experimental studies (cf. Kaenzig et al., 2013;Momsen & Stoerk, 2014;Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008). Furthermore, household size and tenure have been identified as having a positive and significant impact on a consumer's preference for renewable energy (Ameli & Brandt, 2015;Beckman & Xiarchos, 2013;Mozumder et al., 2011). ...
Article
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This paper is an attempt to provide new perspectives on green energy defaults (GED) that promote the purchase of renewable energy electricity (RE e ) among consumers. We aim to complement existing studies and improve the understanding of GED, particularly when they are less, or unexpectedly, effective. To that end, we run a randomized controlled experiment and take the UK as a case study. We replicate the research design of previous lab experiments for comparative reasons. We also expand the analytical framework, identify key determinants and compare stated versus revealed preferences. Initial results indicate a lack of effectiveness across all treatment groups. This seems to challenge most of the existing lab experimental evidence and questions external validity claims. In addition to the actual treatments, current tariff agreements appear as significant determinants of choices. Nevertheless, when stated and revealed preferences are analysed, statistical tests revealed positive and significant differential effects, suggesting that the sole provision of an explicit, simple decision framework can trigger a greater adoption of REe, even in an opt-in treatment scenario. We thus argue that GED can still influence consumer decision-making in the desired policy direction. However, outcomes are likely to be context-specific so policy generalisations are not advisable. Building upon existing knowledge and our experimental results, we propose various motivational and contextual issues affecting consumer behaviour and thus the effectiveness and suitability of GED. They can offer guidance for future GED studies, particularly in countries in which market and consumer policy conditions for RE e may be less advanced or certain.
... Typically, consumers tend to stick to the current or default alternative, thus trying to maintain the current status (also known as status quo bias, see Samuelson and Zeckhauser, 1988). By doing so, they try to avoid possible risks and transaction costs that may come along with a change (Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008). Therefore, a trigger is needed to initiate this switching process, such as financial rewards or dissatisfaction with the current tariff or supplier (see Kowalska-Pyzalska, 2019). ...
... This finding is consistent with the utility parameter β KeepTariff , which is strongly positive (1.377), meaning that, on average, a tariff change results in disutility. This was to be expected, since people tend to stick to the status quo when faced with a set of alternatives in order to avoid the risks and transaction costs associated with a tariff change (see, e.g., Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008;Ghesla et al., 2020). From an energy supplier's perspective, this poses the challenge of convincing consumers to switch to a new (for example, regional) tariff. ...
... While a willingness to switch is necessary for consumers to adopt the new product attribute of regionality, the main motivators for households to switch are usually financial incentives (see, e.g., Lehmann et al., 2021b;Mac-Pherson and Lange, 2013), which regional electricity tariffs do not provide (see Lehmann et al., 2021a). Hence, the inertia in switching tariffs (see, e.g., Kaenzig et al., 2013;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008;Yang et al., 2016), which we also found in our model results and is particularly salient among satisfied customers, is reinforced by higher prices, which makes marketing regional electricity generation more challenging to energy suppliers and the product even less attractive to end customers (see also Ozaki, 2011). ...
Article
Reflecting a broader trend towards regional products in Germany, the recently established “System for Guarantees of Regional Origin” allows operators of subsidized renewable energy plants to market their generation as regional electricity. However, it remains unclear whether and why consumers are willing to pay a premium for regional electricity generation. While a few studies have examined the willingness to pay (WTP) of households for regional electricity generation, little is known about the underlying factors driving WTP. We fill this gap with a representative survey of 838 German households that includes both a choice experiment and questions capturing individual motivations. Data is used to estimate a comprehensive Hybrid Choice Model (HCM) that allows to determine respondents' WTP, explain their electricity tariff choices in the past, and integrate underlying individual motivations. Our model results show that, on average, German households are willing to pay a small premium of less than 2% for regional electricity generation. However, results also show that WTP differs between respondents. More specifically, we find that respondents with stronger regional product beliefs and green values have a higher WTP. Practitioners, such as energy suppliers, could use this information to explicitly address subgroups of consumers in order to more effectively market regional electricity. However, a substantial part of preference heterogeneity remains unexplained, leading to the conclusion that preferences for regional electricity generation are not solely driven by the aforementioned motivations. Future research could disentangle the factors driving WTP in more detail by incorporating more complex behavioral theories into HCMs.
... Ideally, such students are inclined to environmental issues and can easily adopt PEBs. The existing literature which are largely of developed countries reveal the importance of understanding the influencing factors that promote PEB (Chakraborty et al., 2017;Gatersleben et al., 2014;Hansmann et al., 2020;Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002;Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008;Steg & Vlek, 2009;Tezel et al., 2018). Such studies are scanty in developing countries. ...
... Across the developed world, many empirical instigations on pro-environmental behaviour among students (Hansmann et al., 2020;Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008;Steg & Vlek, 2009;Vicente-Molina et al., 2013;Yusliza et al., 2020) have been conducted. However, research is quite scanty on pro-environmental behaviour among students in Africa. ...
... It seeks to effect of an adequate use of information sharing to reach out to the students. From works carried out by Pichert et al (2008), it was determined that to study the impact of waste sorting among individuals, there are some vital characteristics to look out for. This includes the willingness of the individuals to carry their waste bin to their new settlement when they relocate. ...
Preprint
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In this article we study the influence of access to information among UHAS students concerning the clarion call to be pro-environmental on their resolution to be attitudinally pro-environmental. We first examined the influence of gender and study level of UHAS students on their natural inclination to be pro-environmental, where there appears to be little or no influence. The influence became staggeringly profound when information sharing and accessibility component was introduced in our model. This underscores the impact of information sharing via various media on students (UHAS) disposition to adopt pro-environmental lifestyles.
... We moreover tested a behavioural intervention to increase the amount of smart charging choices, i.e., the experimental phase (Wave 2). Following the literature on choice architecture (Beaufils and Pineau, 2019;Huber et al., 2019;Kara et al., 2015;Momsen and Stoerk, 2014;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008), we investigated how translating provided information on battery SoC into more comprehensible and meaningful units for the decision-maker affects their charging choices. Based on the literature indicating that drivers tend to underestimate the amount of available battery range at the point of decision-making (Bailey and Axsen, 2015;Das et al., 2020;Huber et al., 2019;Sintov and Schultz, 2015), we translated battery SoC information from percentages into the number of personal driving days that can be covered by the battery level. ...
... This circumstance increases the likelihood that individuals rely on cognitive shortcuts and heuristics instead of comprehensively processing the provided information (Kahneman, 2003;Simon, 2000). Whereas decision heuristics can be effective in helping individuals to make decisions with relatively little cognitive effort, the energy domain provides various examples where the use of heuristics may lead to systematic errors, misperceptions and energy inefficient choices (Cowen and Gatersleben, 2017;Herberz et al., 2020;Marghetis et al., 2019;Mertens et al., 2020;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008;Schley and DeKay, 2015). ...
... Behavioural insights on cognitive misperceptions and biases associated with suboptimal information provision can provide the foundation of novel evidence-based behavioural interventions. This notion is supported by a growing body of literature on the concept of choice architecture design, illustrating that theory-guided changes in the decision context can result in more personally and societally beneficial decision outcomes (Beaufils and Pineau, 2019;Huber et al., 2019;Kara et al., 2015;Momsen and Stoerk, 2014;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008). Most relevant for our research, the concept of attribute translation refers to the notion that expressing the same information in an alternative way by emphasising highly correlated, but still different aspects of the decision attribute, facilitates the correct use and integration of this piece of information, resulting in more desirable decisions Mertens et al., 2020;Ungemach et al., 2018). ...
Article
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The increasing diffusion of electric vehicles (EVs) can challenge the stability of distribution grids. Smart charging systems can reduce the stress of EV charging on the grid, but the potential of the technology depends on EV drivers' participation in smart charging schemes. To investigate this potential, we conducted an online randomised-controlled experiment with two waves (baseline and experimental phase, N = 222), in which we examined drivers' preferences for smart charging and tested a behavioral intervention to increase the number of smart charging choices. We translated state-of-charge (SoC) information from percentage of battery level into miles corresponding to the battery level and tailored information, i.e., the number of driving days covered by the actual SoC based on participants' personal driving profiles. Participants preferred to use smart charging systems to decrease costs and to increase renewable energy use. However, they tended to overestimate the importance of the battery SoC when setting charging preferences. This overestimation was especially evident for participants who only drive short distances and may be lead to inefficient use of smart charging technology. Translating battery SoC into tailored information corrected for this bias and increased the number of smart charging choices. Our findings illustrate how behavioral interventions can be leveraged to attain energy transition goals.
... Primarily, defaults were successfully implemented to increase pension saving (Choi et al., 2002) and organ donations (Johnson and Goldstein, 2003a). In the environmental policy context, there is convincing empirical evidence of the power of "green" defaults in increasing energy and resource conservation (Ebeling and Berger, 2015;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008). In a Swedish University, switching the printers' default settings from simple to double-sided led to an immediate and long-term reduction of 15% in daily paper consumption, while merely informing and encouraging users of the environmental benefits resulted in no change in behaviour (Egebark and Ekström, 2016). ...
... Default interventions have also been identified as a promising tool for increasing take-up of green energy. Pichert and Katsikopoulos (2008) show that pre-setting "green" electricity as the default option increased its adoption by households. Similarly, in two recent large scale experiments involving 200,000 households and 8,0000 companies in Switzerland, Liebe, Gewinner and Diekmann (2021) found that setting the renewable energy option as the pre-determined option led to an 80% increase in the rate of adoption, an effect that lasts at least 4 years. ...
Thesis
The works compiled in this thesis are concrete examples of how methods, insights and evidence from behavioural science and economics could enlighten policy makers wishing to understand and reinforce pro-environmentalism. The 1st part is an application of methods and insights from psychology to environmental public policy and is the product of a collaboration with policy makers in the French Parisian region, to tackle two polluting behaviours: littering and household combustion. The 1st chapter shows how laboratory experiments using psychometric methods from vision research could be crucial to inform policy makers on how to maximise the effectiveness of littering interventions, by quantifying the increase in visual salience following a change in the colour of trash bins in an urban setting. The 2nd chapter, using a field experimental setting, shows that while information provision is not enough to change household combustion behaviour, increasing the salience of indoor pollution by combining feedback provision and social comparison is effective in changing behaviour and decreasing indoor air pollution. The 2nd part of this thesis examines the relationship between socioeconomic status and the psychological mechanisms underlying pro-environmentalism and behavioural interventions. The 3rd chapter shows that the positive association between socioeconomic status and pro-environmental attitudes is partially mediated by individual time preferences. Chapter 4 is a short review suggesting that socioeconomic backgrounds could moderate the effectiveness of popular environmental behavioural interventions that leverage on biases likely to be heterogeneous across income groups.
... The money gathered would go into the Healthy Soil Carbon Fund as a complement to the existing Healthy Soils program in California, helping farmers transition to sustainable and renewable farming practices such as putting carbon back in the soil to lower agricultural carbon emissions. individual environmentally related behavior like carbon offsetting program participation (Löfgren et al. 2012;Araña and León 2013), green utility choice (Pichert and Katsikopoulos 2008), and food waste reduction (Kallbekken and Saelen 2013). ...
... Dolan et al. (2012) categorize the nine most robust effects on behavior and derive the MINDSPACE framework. Many studies in environmental and resource economics have analyzed the effectiveness of adopting these instruments as policy tools (Palm-Forster et al. 2019), but only a few have tested the "defaults" nudge (e.g., Pichert and Katsikopoulos 2008;Araña and León 2013;Brown et al. 2013). We examine how "defaults" affect individual choices when there is an option for carbon emission reduction through restaurant surcharges. ...
Article
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The agriculture and food sectors contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. About 15 percent of food-related carbon emissions are channeled through restaurants. Using a contingent valuation (CV) method with double-bounded dichotomous choice (DBDC) questions, this article investigates U.S. consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for an optional restaurant surcharge in support of carbon emission reduction programs. The mean estimated WTP for a surcharge is 6.05 percent of an average restaurant check, while the median WTP is 3.64 percent. Our results show that individuals have a higher WTP when the surcharge is automatically added to restaurant checks. We also find that an information nudge—a short climate change script—significantly increases WTP. Additionally, our results demonstrate that there is heterogeneity in treatment effects across consumers’ age, environmental awareness, and economic views. Our findings suggest that a surcharge program could transfer a meaningful amount of the agricultural carbon reduction burden to consumers that farmers currently shoulder.
... For example, Egebark and Ekström (2016) found a default effect for computer printing behavior: when the default printer setting was changed from single sided to double sided, the consumption of printer paper dropped by about 15 percent, and there was no evidence of a decline in this effect 28 weeks after the change. Pichert and Katsikopoulos (2008) found that many German electricity consumers chose an environmentally friendly electricity option if it was the default option. Ebeling and Lotz (2015) compared the green energy choices of "opt-in" and "opt-out" customer groups. ...
... Substantiation of the expediency of building a "green economy" was offered more than a quarter of a century ago. However, the need to switch to "green rails" has become especially relevant today (Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008). ...
Article
Today, the principles of a green economy are being updated and studied not only by experts in the field of environmental economics, but also in various political circles. A large number of countries use different instruments and principles of a green economy in their development policies and strategies. However, some countries fear this transformation because they believe that the transition to a green economy model may hinder their development. Thus, the formation of a clear methodology for the “green” economy is extremely relevant today. The main purpose of the study is to form ways to improve green economy and environmental protection in the context of governance. The article discusses the prerequisites for implementation, the basic principles of Green economy into the system of public administration, and also provides a system for modelling ways to implement the principles of Green economy using the IDEF0 methodology. This methodology allows to clearly seeing the ways and means of achieving this goal.
... That is, if people do not actively opt-out of the default setting, they will end up choosing the preselected option. Just like other nudges, defaults have been applied to many behavioral domains such as organ donation (Johnson & Goldstein, 2003), financial behavior (Madrian & Shea, 2001), and sustainable behavior (e.g., Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008). Default effects are typically robust with an average effect size of d = .68 ...
Article
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Nudges are defined as small adjustments in the choice architecture that help people perform desirable behavior. How nudges interact with individuals’ motivation has not been studied empirically. We conducted three studies with different types of defaults in three different behavioral domains and investigated how defaults and different types of motivation affect choice outcomes. In Study 1, we investigated the effectiveness of a default to stimulate healthy eating choices implemented in a hypothetical online supermarket setting. In Study 2, we used a scenario in which participants could choose from a list of green amenities (either preselected or not). In Study 3, we asked participants whether they wanted to participate in a basic or longer version of our questionnaire, with the longer version option set as the default in the nudge condition. Across these three studies we show that defaults are effective in promoting desirable behavior and that goal strivings and autonomous motivation have additional positive main effects. We did not find evidence that controlled motivation affected behavioral outcomes. Exploratory analyses revealed that amotivation negatively affected behavior, but the measure had poor reliability. No significant interaction effects were observed. Together, these studies imply that both defaults and motivation have main effects on behavior, such that the default sets the anchor from which people can adjust according to the type and strength of their motivation. Implications for the practice and ethics of nudging are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
... Specifically, the incremental difference was striking between those 'who do not own an EV and do not have the intention buy an EV' and the two other groups: 'who own an EV' and those 'who do not own but have the intention to buy an EV in 5 years'. Our interpretation is that DLC programmes could mainly appeal to those already engaged with proenvironmental practices (installing rooftop PV solar and heat pump as well as having or considering buying an EV), in line with other studies on the adoption of smart meters, electricity tariffs and so on [75][76][77][78]. Moreover, the Latent Class model also showed that EV owners might have developed new skills and expertise in their own way for EV charging, therefore they were most sensitive to attributes such as prolongation of charging duration and notification rather than financial incentives and overriding options. ...
Article
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Direct Load Control (DLC) of heat pumps and electric vehicles (EVs) could offer great potential to decarbonize the distribution grid network by aligning demand with intermittent renewable technologies as well as avoiding congestion during peak times. However, little is known about consumer preferences for different designs of a DLC programme and their reasonings. To address this gap, this study investigates the preferences for the design of DLC programmes for heat pumps and EVs, using a discrete choice experiment on a sample of 556 respondents residing in Switzerland. We then propose a theoretical framework to provide insights into the underlying reasons such as social-psychological factors and perceptions for those preferences. We applied a multinomial logit analysis to elicit the preferences and found that overall sample was more sensitive to financial incentives for the DLC for heat pumps whereas more sensitive to the overriding option for the DLC for EVs. We then estimated a latent class choice model to explore the heterogeneity in preferences, identifying three distinct classes that vary in their preferences of different attributes. The model suggests that the preferences for the design are influenced mainly by perceived concerns related to being too dependent on the DLC programmes, trust in the utility company that they are transparent when providing information, attitude towards and knowledge on DLC programmes. Utilities will need to carefully address these issues in the programme design to ensure a widespread acceptance.
... Defaults are among the most discussed behavioural policies and have proven their effectiveness in various decision-making settings (Hummel and Maedche, 2019;Jachimowicz et al., 2019). So-called green defaults have been found to encourage more sustainable consumption, e.g., promoting the uptake of green energy (Ebeling and Lotz, 2015;Kaiser et al., 2020;Liebe et al., 2021;Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008) and energy-saving behaviour (Brown et al., 2013;Heydarian et al., 2016;Hirst et al., 2013), increasing installation rates of smart-grid technology (Broman Toft et al., 2014;Ö lander and Thøgersen, 2014) and the selection of energy-efficient light bulbs (Dinner et al., 2011), as well as reducing paper consumption when printing (Egebark and Ekström, 2016). ...
Article
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Meat consumption and production cause a significant share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the food sector. Behavioural food policy suggests using defaults-i.e., pre-setting a specific choice option-as an effective demand-side instrument to reduce meat consumption. This systematic review compiles, critically appraises, and synthesises existing empirical evidence on defaults that aim to reduce meat consumption. Beyond that, the underlying mechanisms and potential effect moderators in this context are explored. Our synthesis includes twelve individual studies comprising sixteen different default interventions. Although the extent of evidence is limited, we assess the quality to be relatively good. We find that defaults are effective in nudging consumers to eat less meat; despite heterogeneity in the design and implementation of interventions, virtually all studies find the default to reduce meat consumption. Moreover, our explorative analysis provides insights into how the default works in this context. First, we suppose the default primarily operates through the underlying mechanisms of endorsement and effort. Second, we identify four contextual moderators-namely the default's inva-siveness, the recognisability and presentation of the alternative, and the objective of the study setting-that appear to influence the impact. We conclude that defaults are a promising tool for climate-sensitive food policy. Future research could verify and quantify the causal impact of mechanisms and moderators, and assess defaults' long-term and large-scale effectiveness.
... Defaults and habits hinder adoption of energy-efficient products since they both contribute to the status quo, weakening the connection between intentions and behaviour. For example, although the majority of people express that they favour a green-energy provider and are willing to pay a premium for it, only 2% end up selecting it, due to the default effect 44 . It is part of the reason why information-provision interventions signalling the availability of energy-efficient options have limited effect 45 . ...
Article
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The extent to which adopting energy-efficient technologies results in energy savings depends on how such technologies are used, and how monetary savings from energy efficiency are spent. Energy rebound occurs when potential energy savings are diminished due to post-adoption behaviour. Here we review empirical studies on how six behavioural regularities affect three energy-relevant decisions and ultimately rebound: adoption of energy-saving products or practices, their intensity of use and spending of associated monetary savings. The findings suggest that behaviours that reflect limited rationality and willpower may increase rebound, while the effects of behaviours driven by bounded self-interest are less clear. We then describe how interventions associated with each of the behavioural regularities can influence rebound and thus serve to achieve higher energy savings. Future research ought to study energy-relevant decisions in a more integrated manner, with a particular focus on re-spending as this presents the greatest challenge for research and policy. The energy-saving impact of energy-efficient technologies can be diminished by rebound resulting from post-adoption behaviour. This Review examines how behavioural regularities affect energy-relevant decisions and associated rebound effects
... When presenting individuals with general initiatives, multiple choices incur increasingly complex and impenetrable comparisons that can cause individuals to become paralyzed in their pursuit of ideals (Longo, Shankar, and Nuttall 2019). Single options may limit cognitive effort and trigger "default effects" that make sustainable choices seem more intuitive (Campbell-Arvai, Arvai, and Kalof 2014;Pichert and Katsikopoulos 2008). Likewise, when presenting individuals with specific actions, fewer options mean that individuals can read more of the information without becoming fatigued. ...
Article
Voluntary carbon offset (VCO) programs give air travelers opportunities to neutralize their carbon footprint. Despite its potential, few existing studies have explained how to present VCOs that can effectively appeal to the sensibilities of travelers in different conditions. We designed three online experiments with strategies to motivate travelers to opt-in. We found travelers who receive concrete messages that emphasize specific actions are more likely to opt-in to VCOs when flying in the near future. In contrast, travelers receiving abstract messages that emphasize general initiatives are more likely to opt-in to VCOs when flying in the distant future. When travelers are allowed to choose their preferred carbon offset method, they are more likely to opt in, especially when they receive concrete messages that indicate specific actions but not general initiatives. These findings contribute to the aviation carbon offset literature and offer useful new insights for airline companies.
... It should be noted that their electricity costs would have been lower had they opted out of the default and decided to stay with the original provider. 20 In a similar controlled German study, researchers examined the impact of nudges, or defaults, on customers' voluntary purchases of renewable energy contracts. Their analysis of the data revealed that the implementation of an opt-out default increased the voluntary purchase of green energy contracts by 60%. ...
... Pro-environmental behaviour can be fostered by carefully setting the default (UK Cabinet Office s.d., Sunstein and Reisch 2014). Setting defaults (Pichert and Katsikopoulos, 2008), green defaults, has shown to be a particularly effective nudge , Schubert 2017 because it seizes two biases: the power of inertia and that of suggestion. As for inertia, if, for example, people are automatically enrolled in green energy they are likely not to opt out (Sunstein 2021) because doing so would require the engagement of system 2. ...
Preprint
Recent years have shown that traditional regulatory techniques alone are not effective in achieving behavior change in important fields such as environmental sustainability. Governments all over the world have been progressively including behaviourally informed considerations in policy and law-making with the aim of improving the acceptance and impact of sustainability-oriented measures. This led to the arrival of alternative regulatory tools, such as nudges. The effectiveness of nudges for environmental sustainability (green nudges) has been largely reported but the practical and ethical implications are still largely neglected by academic research. In this contribution, “nudges” are conceptually distinguished from “boosts” and their ethical briefly explained. The analysis is made at the light of the current mostly European and US American academic literature.
... The effects of defaults have been demonstrated across many choice domains. For example, individuals are more likely to choose the default option when making decisions about retirement savings (Beshears et al., 2009;Camilleri et al., 2019); are more likely to remain registered for organ donation when it is the default (i.e., under an opt-out rather than opt-in system; Davidai et al., 2012;Johnson & Goldstein, 2003); are more likely to choose environmentally-friendly, green energy when it is presented as the default (Ebeling & Lotz, 2015;Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008); DEFAULTS IN INTERGROUP CONFLICT 6 and cooperate more in social dilemmas when prosocial contributions are presented as the default (Cappelletti et al., 2014;Fosgaard & Piovesan, 2015). ...
Article
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Intergroup conflict is a persistent companion of the human existence. Why do individuals engage in intergroup conflict as often as they do? We propose that groups’ tendencies to present intergroup conflict as the default option and individuals’ tendencies to disproportionately choose default options fuel individual participation in intergroup conflict. Three experiments (total N = 893) that used incentivized economic games found support for this hypothesis. Designating intergroup conflict as the default option significantly increased individual participation in conflict relative to a no-default condition and to designating other behavioral options as defaults. The effects of defaults on intergroup conflict generalized across different social identities and levels of group identification. Our findings explain the stickiness of conflict and identify choice architecture as a potential solution: changing existing defaults can redirect intergroup behavior. We discuss promising directions for future research on the psychological mechanisms underlying these effects.
... Furthermore, the existence of funds with different social taxes enables us to study the pattern of contributions and their corresponding framing effect. In this regard, our work is not unrelated to the extensive literature on nudging in PGGs and related prosocial situations [46][47][48][49][50][51][52], and in particular in the context of donations [53,54]. ...
Article
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The vast amount of research devoted to public goods games has shown that contributions may be dramatically affected by varying framing conditions. This is particularly relevant in the context of donations to charities and non-governmental organizations. Here, we design a multiple public goods experiment by introducing five types of funds, each differing in the fraction of the contribution that is donated to a charity. We found that people contribute more to public goods when the associated social donations are presented as indirect rather than as direct donations. At the same time, the fraction of the donations devoted to charity is not affected by the framing. We have also found that, on average, women contribute to public goods and donate to charity significantly more than men. These findings are of potential interest to the design of social investment tools, in particular for charities to ask for better institutional designs from policy makers.
... Pro-environmental behaviour can be fostered by carefully setting the default (UK Cabinet Office n.d.; Sunstein and Reisch 2014). Setting defaults (Pichert and Katsikopoulos 2008), green defaults, has shown to be a particularly effective nudge (Sunstein 2021; Schubert 2017) because it seizes two biases: the powers of inertia and suggestion. As for inertia, if, for example, people are automatically enrolled in green energy, they are likely not to opt out (Sunstein 2021) because doing so would require the engagement of system 2. ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have shown that traditional regulatory techniques alone are not effective in achieving behaviour change in important fields such as environmental sustainability. Governments all over the world have been progressively including behaviourally informed considerations in policy and law making with the aim of improving the acceptance and impact of sustainability-oriented measures. This led to the arrival of alternative regulatory tools, such as nudges. The effectiveness of nudges for environmental sustainability (green nudges) has been widely reported, but the practical and ethical implications are still largely neglected by academic research. In this contribution, “nudges” are conceptually distinguished from “boosts” and their ethics are briefly explained. The analysis is made in light of European and US American academic literature.
... Outcome [80] Using the case study method, the research was conducted in three countries. Significant effects of the default options were found, including green energy in the default contract increasing the number of people using this type of energy. ...
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One of the most important climate change mitigation strategies is to exploit the potential of individual behavioral changes in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the insights of behavioral economics are proving helpful in this regard. This contributes to improving traditional instruments, developing new ones related to choice architecture (nudges), and combining them within behavioral decarbonization intervention strategies. It is important, in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency, whether the instruments of such interventions are supported by citizens. This paper presents the results of a survey of Polish respondents’ (n = 1064) reactions to hypothetical nudges regarding the choice of a “green energy” supplier. The main research questions of the study are: how much civic support do these behavioral intervention tools have, and what is the importance of selected factors for their acceptance? The aim of the study is to present nudges as one of the strategies of pro-environmental behavioral change and to analyze selected factors of acceptance of these instruments by the Polish society. There are two main conclusions of the research: (1) Poles’ support for the green nudges analyzed is comparatively high, like in other European countries; (2) statistically significant differences in support for one of them are age and individual political party preferences.
... In the late 1980s, an environmental initiative was founded in the German town Schönau [41]. It proposed to take over the local power grid and energy provider, and after campaigns and public debate they put it to a vote. ...
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The number of areas in which artificial intelligence (AI) technology is being employed increases continually, and climate change is no exception. There are already growing efforts to encourage people to engage more actively in sustainable environmental behavior, so-called “green nudging”. Nudging in general is a widespread policymaking tool designed to influence people’s behavior while preserving their freedom of choice. Given the enormous challenges humanity is facing in fighting climate change, the question naturally arises: Why not combine the power of AI and the effectiveness of nudging to get people to behave in more climate-friendly ways? However, nudging has been highly controversial from the very beginning because critics fear it undermines autonomy and democracy. In this article I investigate the ethics of AI-powered climate nudging and address the question whether implementing corresponding policies may represent hidden and unacceptable costs of AI in the form of a substantive damage to autonomy and democracy. I will argue that, although there are perfectly legitimate concerns and objections against certain forms of nudging, AI-powered climate nudging can be ethically permissible under certain conditions, namely if the nudging practice takes the form of what I will call “self-governance”.
... On the other hand, dishes that feature variable components (e.g., a burger with a beef or vegetable patty) usually have one of these components set as the default option. Evidence from several investigations on environmentally friendly behavior suggests that defaults are more likely to be chosen than the other options [12,19,20]. Therefore, the climate impact of chosen dishes with variable components may be significantly reduced by using components with the lowest GHG emissions as the default option. ...
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In this study, we aimed to understand how restaurants can contribute to climate change mitigation via menu design. We investigated two types of interventions: changing the configuration of menu entries with variable side dishes so that the most climate-friendly option is set as the default and indicating the greenhouse gas emission of each dish via carbon labels . In an online simulation experiment, 265 participants were shown the menus of nine different restaurants and had to choose exactly one dish per menu. In six menus, the main dishes were presented with different default options: the side dish was associated either with the highest or with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. The other three menus consisted of unitary dishes for which the default rules did not apply. All menus were presented either with or without carbon labels for each dish option. The results indicated that more climate-friendly dish choices resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions were made with the low-emission than the high-emission default condition, and when carbon labels were present rather than absent. The effects of both interventions interacted, which indicates that the interventions partly overlap with regard to cognitive predecessors of choice behavior, such as attentional focus and social norms. The results suggest that the design of restaurant menus has a considerable effect on the carbon footprint of dining.
... Due to the increasing need for sustainability, nudging is becoming a prime tool to aid the mitigation of negative environmental effects in a variety of fields (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). For example, nudges have been implemented to help the adoption of environmentally friendly energy providers (Pichert & Katsikopoulos, 2008), guide people toward sustainable travel behavior (Kim, Tanford, & Book, 2021), or reduce household energy consumption (Loock et al., 2013). ...
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The continuous rise of e-commerce and the resulting global transportation activities lead to an increased environmental load, specifically in the form of carbon emissions. While carbon offset donations offer the potential to mitigate the ecological harm, these voluntary options are not yet prevalent among e-commerce customers. Prior research has shown that information systems (IS) can be utilized to encourage more sustainable behavior by digitally nudging people into offsetting their carbon emissions. Therefore, this study intends to examine the influence of defaults on carbon offsetting in e-commerce checkout processes. A digital experiment with 125 participants revealed that higher default donation values significantly increase people’s carbon offset contributions in an e-commerce checkout process. Participants in the treatment group (high default) donated, on average, 33 percent more for carbon offsetting compared to the control group (low default). As a result, this research contributes to the fields of behavioral economics in IS, digital nudging as well as green IS and has valuable implications for IS practitioners and designers.
... How behavioral rebound effects related to the VCO of flights can be mitigated or avoided also remains an open question. One approach that could be taken to answer this question could be to make adaptations to the choice architecture and to make offsets into the default options, which travelers need to de-select rather than select; this is in agreement with the concept of "green defaults" [38]. This might lead to the lower awareness about the flight being offset; therefore, passengers might not feel morally entitled to emit more elsewhere. ...
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Voluntary carbon offsets (VCO) have been introduced as a means of compensating personal carbon emissions related to travelling. Purchases of VCO have remained low in the past, but might increase in the future due to rising awareness about climate change. VCO have been assumed to increase the acceptability of flying among eco-minded people. Therefore, VCO might not only be a tool to offset emissions but also to compensate for “flight shame”. Much research has been carried out to detect VCO purchasers’ motives, but none has explored the potential behavioral rebound effects of VCO with regard to flying. This article contributes to the debate by presenting a conceptual framework that was developed to investigate these rebound effects. First, we present the motives that travelers have for offsetting their flight emissions. These motives already indicate the possibility of a rebound effect. Second, we discuss several conceptual ideas which should be considered for the design of empirical studies. Overall, we argue that the use of VCO might lead to unintended carbon emissions; however, isolating the specific role of VCO remains a difficult task. Nevertheless, research on behavioral rebound effects is needed to clarify whether VCO counteract sustainability in the transport sector.
Article
In recent years, the idea of green growth has been widely discussed not only by experts in environmental economics, but also in various political forums. Many countries use various tools and principles of green growth in their national policies and growth strategies. However, some countries fear that the transition to a green growth model may hamper their development. The article discusses the prerequisites for implementation, the basic principles of green growth into the system of public administration, and also provides a system for modelling ways to implement the principles of green growth using the IDEF0 (functional modeling methodology and a graphical description of the processes) methodology. This methodology allows to clearly see the ways and means of achieving this goal. Considering the importance of the economic component in all processes of monitoring, control and protection of air, water and soil from pollution processes, a system for modeling ways to implement the principles of green growth using the IDEF0 methodology has been formed today is especially relevant.
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This preprint has not undergone peer review or any post-submission improvements or corrections. The Version of Record of this article is published in Nature Energy, and is available online at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-022-01028-3. Electric vehicles are on the rise, but are still far from reaching the global market share required to achieve climate objectives. While financial and technological adoption barriers are increasingly removed, psychological barriers remain insufficiently addressed on a large scale. Here, we show that car owners substantially underestimate the compatibility of available battery capacities with their individual mobility needs, increasing the demand of long battery ranges and reducing willingness to adopt. We test a simple behavioral intervention in two randomized online experiments in Germany and the U.S.: providing tailored compatibility information reduced range anxiety and increased willingness to pay for electric vehicles. Compatibility information more strongly increased preferences than information about privileged access to charging infrastructure, and selectively increased preferences of car owners for whom an electric vehicle would yield higher financial benefits. This scalable intervention may complement classical policy approaches in achieving a resource-conscious and global electrification of mobility.
Article
Focusing on delayed outcomes facilitates goal pursuit, but people exhibit a clear preference for immediate outcomes. Introducing immediate incentives (rewards or penalties) that are contingent on later performance can act as a commitment device to facilitate long-term goal pursuit. Here we apply these behavioural insights to the design of incentive-based electricity products that aim to commit consumers to conserve electricity. Such products are often effective in lowering consumption levels, but their uptake among consumers is relatively low. Across two experimental studies, we tested consumer acceptance of three novel incentive-based electricity products that applied a combination of rewards and penalties to commit consumers to conserve electricity in their homes. Results show that consumers were less likely to choose incentive-based products that offer an upfront reward (combined with a delayed penalty that applies upon failing to reach a conservation target). Our results further indicate that this may be the case because consumers perceived the upfront rewards as a less effective commitment device. Thus, while immediate rewards can be effective commitment devices to long-term goal pursuit, this does not seem to apply in the context of electricity conservation. Moreover, individual differences predicted choices of electricity products: Individual levels of loss aversion and temporal discounting predicted tariff choices, mediated by perceived tariff attractiveness and perceived incentive effectiveness. Our findings highlight the potential for designing behaviourally-informed incentives and energy products as well as the market potential for innovative incentive-based tariffs designed to help consumers commit to long-term conservation goals.
Article
The German energy transition has led to a strong expansion of renewable energies in recent years. As a result, the German population is increasingly coming into contact with generation facilities. To increase local acceptance for new installations and to create new sales channels for energy suppliers, the legislature has established the “System for Guarantees of Regional Origin” in 2019, which allows the marketing of electricity from subsidized facilities as “electricity generated in the region”. However, regional electricity comes with additional costs on the procurement and sales side of energy suppliers, and it is unclear whether and to what extent consumers are willing to pay a premium for electricity generated regionally. This study investigates the willingness to pay (WTP) of residential customers based on two samples of 838 and 59 respondents, respectively. Our model results show that, on average, WTP for regional electricity generation is positive, especially among female, younger and better-educated customers, although differences in WTP between these sociodemographic characteristics are small. Factors that are more relevant are the current type of electricity tariff, differentiated into non-green and green, with the latter having a positive influence, but also the tariff switching behavior of the past, which is a proxy for price sensitivity. Although WTP is positive, it is severely limited, and only pertains to a subgroup of electricity customers. Hence, it is not surprising that our simulation shows that including a regional green electricity tariff in an energy supplier's portfolio is likely to lead to product cannibalization, meaning that mainly green electricity customers will choose this tariff. From an energy supplier's perspective, these results raise the question of whether offering a regional electricity tariff is economically viable. Future research could further investigate what underlying factors drive preferences for regionally generated electricity and how it can contribute to local acceptance.
Article
Connecting individual energy-related perceptions and behaviors to the larger climate system is a daunting task. What can individuals do to change the system itself? How do we perceive how much energy different activities use? Are there ways to improve our perceptions? How do we use behavioral science to motivate climate mitigation and adaptation policies? In this article, I review a body of work focusing on answering these questions. I discuss perceptions and motivations to transform energy use, and highlight some research projects of interest. In the policy area I discuss how behavioral science has aided and has still to be integrated into decarbonization policies. I end with several open research questions for the field.
Article
Starting from the mid-1990s, business models have received increased attention from both academics and practitioners. At a general level, a business model refers to the core logic that a firm or other type of organization employs to achieve its goals. Thus, in general terms, the business model construct attempts to capture the way organizations “do business” or operate to create, deliver, and capture value. Business model innovation (BMI) constitutes a unique dimension of innovation, different from and complementary to other dimensions of innovation, such as product/service, process, or organizational innovation. This distinction is important in that different dimensions of innovation have different antecedents, different processes, and, eventually, different outcomes. Business models have been the subject of extensive research, giving birth to several lines of inquiry. Among them, one line focuses on business models in relation to innovation. This is a vast, somewhat fragmented, and evolving line of inquiry. Despite this limitation, it is possible to recognize that, at the core, business models are relevant to innovation in at least two main ways. First, business models can act as vehicles for the diffusion of innovation by bridging inventions, innovative technologies, and ideas to (often distant) markets and application domains. Therefore, business models speak to the phenomenon of technology transfer from the point of view of academic entrepreneurship and of corporate innovation. Thus, an important role of the business model in relation to innovation is to support the diffusion and adoption of new technologies and scientific discoveries by bridging them with the realization of economic output in markets. This is a considerable endeavor that relies on a complex process entailing the search for, and recombination of, complementary knowledge and capabilities. Second, business models are a subject of innovation that can become a source of innovation in and of themselves. For example, offerings that reinvent value to the customer—as opposed to offerings that incrementally add value to existing offerings—often involve designing novel business models. Relatedly, BMI refers to both a process (i.e., the dynamics involved in innovating business models) as well as the output of that process. In relation to BMI as a process, the literature has suggested distinguishing between business model reconfiguration (BMR; i.e., the reconfiguration of an existing business model), and business model design (BMD; i.e., the design of a new business model from scratch). This distinction allows us to identify three possible instances, namely general BMR in incumbent firms, BMD in incumbent firms, and BMD in newly formed organizations and startups. These are arguably different phenomena involving different processes as well as different moderators. BMR could be understood as an evolutionary process occurring because of changes in activities and adjustments within an existing configuration. BMD involves facing considerable uncertainty, thus putting a premium on discovery-driven approaches that emphasize experimentation and learning and a considerable degree of knowledge search and recombination.
Article
Faced with a growing sense of urgency to combat climate change, environmental policy is increasingly turning to alternative policy instruments. One method for boosting green behaviour among individuals rooted in applied behavioural economics is loss framing - transforming existing messages so that they emphasise the potential negative consequences of an action or inaction on the environment. This paper provides a systematic review of the existing body of evidence on framing effects in pro-environmental decisions. Based on an analysis of 61 studies captured in 47 distinct papers we find that real behaviour has been largely neglected as an outcome variable, with preference in the literature given to the measurement of self-reporting constructs such as attitudes, willingness to pay and behavioural intentions. In support of the loss aversion hypothesis, loss framing was found to be more or equally effective in all studies examining behaviour and intentions, though gain framing was more successful where the choices taken required lower commitment, namely attitudes. We provide an analysis of other loss framing success factors and draw policy- and research implications.
Article
Individual, car-based mobility contributes significantly to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Driving style accounts for up to 30% of fuel consumption and manufacturers have implemented technologies such as energy-efficient “eco” driving modes to reduce emissions. Here we report evidence from a field experiment with battery-electric vehicles. Two behavioral interventions, changing the mode’s default to on and informing drivers about the frequency of other people’s usage of the mode, i.e. providing a descriptive social norm, successfully increased eco mode usage. However, the cars’ acceleration and energy consumption remained unaffected due to a behavioral rebound, and were instead predicted by a situational factor, trip distance. While behavioral interventions proved effective, the results suggest that technological interventions aiming to reduce the environmental impacts might focus more strongly on alterations of situational rather than dispositional factors of people or cars.
Article
The Chinese government has taken actions to promote energy efficiency through the renovation of residential buildings in the Northern Heating Region. Homeowners have been encouraged to undertake government-led energy efficiency renovation; however, their decisions to undertake the renovation are affected by several barriers. The lack of participation from homeowners has brought difficulties in execution and financing. This study empirically investigated the barriers facing homeowners when undertaking the renovation, including barriers generated from the homeowner’s cognitive biases. The results show that barriers associated with capital cost, unbalanced financial plan, unclear process, comfort, and increased energy prices are the most widely considered when homeowners make decisions about undertaking renovation projects. An adverse decision is most likely to be generated when: (1) when homeowners perceive the financial plan as unfair, (2) when they have already done renovation at their own expense, or (3) when they have the feeling of losing initiative. Among all the individual factors, the homeowners’ gender, age, education level, and building type are significant in predicting their decisions. By drawing on insights from behavioral economics, we analyzed the mechanisms behind these barriers. The findings can help policymakers to design more cost-effective policy instruments to mitigate the barriers.
Preprint
Nudges are defined as small adjustments in the choice architecture that help people perform desirable behavior. How nudges interact with individuals’ motivation has not been studied empirically. We conducted three studies with different types of defaults in three different behavioral domains and investigated how defaults and different types of motivation affect choice outcomes. In Study 1, we investigated the effectiveness of a default to stimulate healthy eating choices implemented in a hypothetical online supermarket setting. In Study 2, we used a scenario in which participants could choose from a list of green amenities (either preselected or not). In Study 3, we asked participants if they wanted to participate in a basic or longer version of our questionnaire, with the longer version option set as the default in the nudge condition. Across three studies we show that defaults are effective in promoting desirable behavior, and that goal strivings and autonomous motivation have additional positive main effects. We did not find evidence that controlled motivation did affect behavioral outcomes. Exploratory analyses revealed that amotivation negatively affected behavior, but the measure had poor reliability. No significant interaction effects were observed. Together, these studies imply that both defaults and motivation have main effects on behavior, such that the default sets the anchor from which people can adjust according to the type and strength of their motivation. Implications for the practice and ethics of nudging are discussed.
Article
Smart cities aim at improving efficiency while providing safety and security by merging conventional infrastructures with information and communication technology. One strategy for mitigating hazardous situations and improving the overall resilience of the system is to involve citizens. For instance, smart grids involve prosumers —capable of producing and consuming electricity—who can adjust their electricity profile dynamically (i. e., decrease or increase electricity consumption), or use their local production to supply electricity to the grid. This mitigates the impact of peak consumption periods on the grid and makes it easier for operators to control the grid. This involvement of prosumers is accompanied by numerous socio-technical challenges, including motivating citizens to contribute by adjusting their electricity consumption to the requirements of the energy grid. Towards this end, this work investigates motivational strategies and tools, including nudging, persuasive technologies, and incentives, that can be leveraged to increase the motivation of citizens. We discuss long-term and side effects and ethical and privacy considerations, before portraying bug bounty programs, gamification and apps as technologies and strategies to communicate the motivational strategies to citizens.
Chapter
Nudging and individual behavior change are among the most dominant approaches for addressing the climate crisis. This chapter reviews the literature on nudging and the climate crisis, pointing out the criticisms that have been made of the nudging approach. Rather than reject nudging, the chapter argues that nudging should be recognized as a theory of the importance of informal learning for addressing the climate crisis. To incorporate nudging into a broader model of education for radical social change, and retain its insights and advantages while challenging its more problematic elements, the chapter argues that it is helpful to link nudging with lessons from the critical sociology of education and the concept of the hidden curriculum, and from progressive education, that makes use of a wide hange of holistic, experiential and practical approaches to learning.
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Paternal devlet, devletin egemenlik hakkı ve yetkisine dayanarak kendi topraklarında yaşayan insanların kendilerine, ailelerine ve başkalarına verecekleri zararları ortadan kaldırmak; sağlık, huzur, mutluluk ve refahlarını arttırmak gayesiyle onların rıza ve onayını almaksızın davranış, karar ve tercihlerine zorla bazı sınırlamalar ve yasaklar getirdiği ve bu yönde yasal düzenlemeler ve uygulamalar yaptığı devlet modelidir. Paternal devletin hiç de özgürlükçü olmayan ürkütücü yerlere vara-bilme tehlikesi her daim söz konusudur. İnsanoğlu için özgürlük, hiçbir zaman ve hiçbir şekilde paternal devlete feda edilemeyecek kadar önemlidir. 2017 yılında Richard H. Thaler'in Nobel Ekonomi Ödülü ile taltif edilmesi ile birlikte popülerlik kazanan liberteryen paternalizm de esasen paternal devletin bir politikasıdır. Buna göre, irrasyonel davranış, karar ve tercihlerde bulunan bireyleri onların iyiliği için tamamen paternalist olmayan bazı özgürlükçü yöntemlerle doğru karar ve seçimlere yönlendirmek mümkün olabilir. Adı veya türü ne olursa olsun paternalizm devletin büyüyüp genişlemesine yol açan devletçilik zihniyetidir. Ne zaman ki, devlet büyür, genişler ve bir Leviathan’a dönüşür, o zaman iyiliksever ve iyiniyetli paternalizm özgürlükler üzerinde bir tehdit oluşturmaya başlar. Paternal devletin bütün bu tehlike ve tehditlerine dikkat çekmeye çalış-tığımız ve bir eleştirisini sunduğumuz Paternal Devlet (Kamusal İyilikseverlik ve Eleştirisi) isimli çalışmamızın bu alanda yapılacak çalışmalara bir referans kaynak olmasını temenni ediyoruz. Kavramlar: Paternalizm, Paternal Devlet, Kamusal İyilikseverlik
Article
Transparency is a key factor in determining the permissibility of behavior change interventions. Nudges are at times considered manipulative from failing this condition. Ethicists suggest that making nudges transparent by disclosing them to decision makers is a way to mitigate the manipulation objection, but questions remain as to what downstream consequences disclosing decision makers of a nudge may cause. In this registered report, we investigated two such consequences: (1) whether disclosure affects perceptions of the choice architect and (2) whether disclosure influences subsequent behavior. To these ends, we present data from three pilot studies and two main experiments (total N = 2177). In both experiments, we used defaults to nudge participants towards prosocial behaviors with real consequences. Experiment 1 employed a mixed design examining changes in perceptions of the choice architect for participants presented with a nudge disclosure before or after choosing. Experiment 2 extended by investigating the effects of disclosure on the default effect, perceptions of the choice architect, and on a subsequent prosocial choice task. Results showed that (1) when presented before choosing the nudge disclosure did not influence perceptions of the choice architect. However, when presented after, perceptions deteriorated. (2) The disclosure, regardless of when presented, had no effect on participants’ behavior in a subsequent non-nudged choice. Additionally, the disclosure did not affect the nudge’s influence on the initial choice. We conclude that lack of transparency can hurt choice architects’ reputation and discuss under what circumstances this may materialize behaviorally. Materials, data, and code are available at osf.io/463af/.
Article
This study explores the potential and challenges of applying behavioural interventions to promote micro-mobility adoption. Our online experiments with New York City residents showed that nudges and faming improved respondents’ willingness to adopt e-scooters significantly. Moreover, our experiments spanned over the pre-, during- and post- COVID-19 lockdown period in New York City. Findings from this natural experiment revealed that the effect of these behavioural interventions varied significantly during the pandemic, likely due to a heightened level of health consciousness and a new perspective regarding social interactions. Behavioural tools cannot be taken off-the-shelf and applied as a blanket policy. Individual and group characteristics have to be assessed to devise the pre-eminent behavioural interventions for a particular target audience. More experiments across a wide range of economic, social, cultural, and political settings are needed to guide the application of behavioural interventions in transportation studies.
Chapter
The revolution underway is not only about sustainability and technological innovations. It is also political, because it has consequences for the economy, society and ethics. And because it involves decisions that affect present and future generations. The first and most important choice is whether to prioritize growth at all costs or put human beings at the centre. Prioritizing growth without worrying about sustainability and the impact of automation on employment may be based on the assumption that the system will find (as in the past) a new point of equilibrium on its own. However, this approach may not be compatible with existing sustainability constraints. On the other hand, favouring the centrality of humans does not mean rejecting progress. On the contrary, this choice requires people to interact with technology without surrendering to machines, to pursue growth but in a sustainable way, to increase produced wealth but distribute it fairly, to improve productivity but also enhance the quality of life and work. Putting human beings at the centre makes the value system a compass to follow in order to find the right path and make some unavoidable choices. Hence, compass in hand, we are formulating some proposals for dealing with a world revolutionized by innovation in a way that is socially balanced and sustainable.
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A nudge changes people's actions without removing their options or altering their incentives.During the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Swedish Region of Uppsala sent letters with pre-booked appointments to inhabitants aged 16-17 instead of opening up manual appointment booking. Using regional and mu-nicipal vaccination data, we document a higher vaccine uptake among 16- to 17-year-olds in Uppsala compared to untreated control regions (constructed using the synthetic control method as well as neighboring municipalities). The results highlight pre-booked appointments as a strategy for increasing vaccination rates in populations with low perceived risk.
Article
The current study investigates the efficiency of nudging people to purchase more eco-friendly electronic devices in an emulated online milieu. To this end, participants were presented with three different products (smart phones, monitors and portable speakers) with two different nudges (attraction and default) and a control condition. Results from two experiments show that, while there was already a strong preference to make eco-friendly choices in control conditions, when eco-friendly choices were costlier, there was a clear positive effect of an attraction nudge on participants’ eco-friendly preferences. In other words, when product prices were generally high, or when there are large price differences between options, the attraction nudge resulted in a higher probability of eco-friendly choices compared to when no attraction effect is used. The default nudge was less efficient, sometimes producing a negative effect, while its effect was mediated by whether participants endorsed a strong bio-centric worldview, in which case the default nudge promoted more eco-friendly choices. The results are discussed in relation to potential challenges pertaining to deceit and perceived paternalistic intentions with use of nudges.
Article
Energy efficiency investments are typically based on either one of two opposing perspectives on financial risk. This study conducted a choice experiment based on a simulated online shop for energetic retrofitting. Here, the resulting financial risk of retrofitting was presented in different treatment groups from these two perspectives. In this vein, participants in the first treatment group were confronted with the resulting risk of deviating energy bill savings (investment risk perspective), which increases with the investment. In the second treatment group, participants were confronted with resulting risk of deviating energy bills after the investment (energy bill risk perspective), which decreases with investment. In the third treatment group, we displayed risk from both perspectives. We found that participants deciding on retrofitting measures within the online shop displaying energy bill risk invested about 20% more than participants in an online shop displaying the investment risk, tested for significance. These findings establish a new way of nudging individuals towards energy efficiency investments, which is especially important for energy policymakers. We, therefore, recommended actively leveraging the risk-reducing potential under the energy bill perspective when promoting energy efficiency investments.
Article
Augmented reality (AR) has found application in online games, social media, interior design, and other services since the success of the smartphone game Pokémon Go in 2016. With recent news on the metaverse and the AR cloud, the contexts in which the technology is used become more and more ubiquitous. This is problematic, since AR requires various different sensors gathering real-time, context-specific personal information about the users, causing more severe and new privacy threats compared to other technologies. These threats can have adverse consequences on information self-determination and the freedom of choice and, thus, need to be investigated as long as AR is still shapeable. This communication paper takes on a bird’s eye perspective and considers the ethical concept of autonomy as the core principle to derive recommendations and measures to ensure autonomy. These principles are supposed to guide future work on AR suggested in this article, which is strongly needed in order to end up with privacy-friendly AR technologies in the future.
Article
The preference for and exercise of autonomous decision‐making in adolescence is a normative developmental process. Yet, increased autonomy is associated with both risks and benefits. Connection to others through positive relationships, including mentoring relationships, is one context that predicts healthy autonomous decision‐making. In other ways, such relationships can interfere or stifle the development of autonomy. In synthesizing the existing scientific literature on autonomy development and autonomy‐supportive practices, we propose a framework for considering the role of mentors in supporting autonomy through five domains of influence: role modeling, encouraging, providing access to resources, relationships, and experiences, advocacy, and conversations about behavior change. We provide suggestions for research and practice.
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A series of studies examines whether certain biases in probability assessments and perceptions of loss, previously found in experimental studies, affect consumers' decisions about insurance. Framing manipulations lead the consumers studied here to make hypothetical insurance-purchase choices that violate basic laws of probability and value. Subjects exhibit distortions in their perception of risk and framing effects in evaluating premiums and benefits. Illustrations from insurance markets suggest that the same effects occur when consumers make actual insurance purchases.
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The authors examine the effects of using a subtractive versus an additive option-framing method on consumers' option choice decisions in three studies. The former option-framing method presents consumers with a fully loaded product and asks them to delete options they do not want. The latter presents them with a base model and asks them to add the options they do want. Combined, the studies support the managerial attractiveness of the subtractive versus the additive option-framing method. Consumers tend to choose more options with a higher total option price when they use subtractive versus additive option framing. This effect holds across different option price levels (Study 1) and product categories of varying price (Study 2). Moreover, this effect is magnified when subjects are asked to anticipate regret from their option choice decisions (Study 2). However, option framing has a different effect on the purchase likelihood of the product category itself, depending on the subject's initial interest in buying within the category. Although subtractive option framing offers strong advantages to managers when product commitment is high, it appears to demotivate category purchase when product commitment is low (Study 3). In addition, the three studies reveal several other findings about the attractiveness of subtractive versus additive option framing from the standpoint of consumers and managers. These findings, in turn, offer interesting public policy and future research implications.
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Die Liberalisierung des Strommarktes hat dazu geführt, dass Kunden erstmals die Möglichkeit haben, gezielt Strom aus erneuerbaren Energien nachzufragen. Für bestehende und neue Anbieter in der Elektrizitätsbranche bietet das Ökostrom-Marketing einen möglichen Ausweg aus dem ruinösen Verdrängungswettbewerb im Markt für Egalstrom und somit die Chance zum Erreichen nachhaltiger Wettbewerbsvorteile. Der Marktanteil dieser Produkte ist heute aber noch gering: Ökostrom ist zumeist ein (teures) Nischenprodukt. Aus der Perspektive einer Nachhaltigen Entwicklung ist die heutige Öko-Nische zwar ein notwendiger, aber bei weitem nicht hinreichender Schritt. Ausgehend von diesem Grundverständnis fragt diese Arbeit nach Wegen einer Diffusion ökologischer Stromprodukte von der Nische in den Massenmarkt, wie sie beispielsweise bei Bio-Lebensmitteln bereits auf dem Markt zu beobachten ist. Die Analyse bietet Antworten auf Fragen wie: Wie gross ist das Marktpotential für Ökostrom jenseits der Nische in einem liberalisierten Elektrizitätsmarkt? Wer sind die Marktakteure, die einen Beitrag zur Erschliessung dieses Potentials leisten könnten? Worin liegt dieser Beitrag für verschiedene Akteure? Welche Herausforderungen haben Unternehmen bei einem Übergang von der Nische zum Massenmarkt zu bewältigen? Was sind Merkmale und Praxisbeispiele (aus den USA, Grossbritannien, Deutschland und der Schweiz) erfolgreicher Marketingstrategien für Ökostrom jenseits der Nische? Und wie können die Rahmenbedingungen gestaltet werden, um eine solche Entwicklung zu fördern?
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Differences in opt-in and opt-out responses are an important element of the current public debate concerning on-line privacy and more generally for permission marketing. We explored the issue empirically. Using two on-line experiments we show that the default has a major role in determining revealed preferences for further contact with a Web site. We then explore the origins of these differences showing that both framing and defaults have separate and additive effects in affecting the construction of preferences.
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This study gauges how different information disclosure policies impact consumer understanding, performance, and satisfaction during the choice of a deregulated electricity supplier, and it explores how the market share of each firm responds to different policies in a hypothetical market. Compulsory disclosure of detailed price and environmental attribute information yields high consumer satisfaction and minimizes most types of information processing errors. The implications for disclosure policy and firm-level market share are discussed.
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Green power marketing—the act of differentially selling electricity generated wholly or in part from renewable sources—has emerged in more than a dozen countries around the world. Almost two million customers worldwide buy green power today. This paper reviews green power marketing activity in Australia, Canada, Japan, the US, and in a number of countries in Europe to gain an understanding of consumer demand for electricity generated from renewable sources. It also examines key factors that influence market penetration of green power products, such as product designs, pricing, incentives, marketing strategies, policies, and product certification.
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This paper integrates themes from psychology and economics to analyze pro-environmental behavior. Increasingly, both disciplines share an interest in understanding internal and external influences on behavior. In this study, we analyze data from a mail survey of participants and non-participants in a premium-priced, green electricity program. Internal variables consist of a newly developed scale for altruistic attitudes based on the Schwartz norm-activation model, and a modified version of the New Ecological Paradigm scale to measure environmental attitudes. External variables consist of household income and standard socio-demographic characteristics. The two internal variables and two external variables are significant in a logit model of the decision to participate in the program. We then focus on participants in the program and analyze their specific motives for participating. These include motives relating to several concerns: ecosystem health, personal health, environmental quality for residents in southeastern Michigan, global warming, and warm-glow (or intrinsic) satisfaction. In a statistical ranking of the importance of each motive, a biocentric motive ranks first, an altruistic motive ranks second, and an egoistic motive ranks third.
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Subjects read scenarios concerning pairs of options. One option was an omission, the other, a commission. Intentions, motives, and consequences were held constant. Subjects either judged the morality of actors by their choices or rated the goodness of decision options. Subjects often rated harmful omissions as less immoral, or less bad as decisions, than harmful commissions. Such ratings were associated with judgments that omissions do not cause outcomes. The effect of commission is not simply an exaggerated response to commissions: a reverse effect for good outcomes was not found, and a few subjects were even willing to accept greater harm in order to avoid action. The “omission bias” revealed in these experiments can be described as an overgeneralization of a useful heuristic to cases in which it is not justified. Additional experiments indicated that subjects' judgments about the immorality of omissions and commissions are dependent on several factors that ordinarily distinguish omissions and commissions: physical movement in commissions, the presence of salient alternative causes in omissions, and the fact that the consequences of omissions would occur if the actor were absent or ignorant of the effects of not acting.
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We analyze US consumers’ demand for environmental attributes of deregulated residential electricity services using results from a survey designed to elicit consumers’ willingness to pay for such attributes and using results from a hedonic analysis of actual price premiums charged for green electricity in several deregulated markets. Survey results suggest that many population segments are willing to pay for decreased air emissions even if there is no alteration in fuel source. Furthermore, several groups are willing to pay significantly more when emissions reductions stem from increased reliance upon renewable fuels. The hedonic analysis suggests that several product features not considered in the survey help explain real price premiums, including fuel mix from newly created renewable generation capacity, Green-e certification, brand name and state of offer. While survey and hedonic results are not easily compared due to limitations of the survey, both point to similar values for key environmental attributes, though the survey results are likely to overstate actual willingness to pay. In sum, the results suggest that consumer driven purchases can, in part, support the future of renewable generation capacity in the United States, though reliance upon other policy alternatives may be needed if energy prices spike.
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At first blush, Thaler and Sunstein seem to be proposing that voluntarily helping people to overcome or cope with their rash, ignorant, impulsive selves be called “libertarian paternalism.†Such semantics would only cause confusion and introduce new terminology for things already well served by ordinary language. Upon closer reading, however, we find that they maintain an unconventional distinction between coercive and non-coercive (or voluntary) action, while never making clear how they distinguish coercive from non-coercive action. I suggest that “libertarian paternalism†is really a depredation upon the very distinction between coercive and voluntary action.
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Research in behavioral decision theory suggests that people use reference points as the basis for judging/comparing the value of decision alternatives, but there has been little research addressing how decision reference points are formed. This paper posits and empirically demonstrates a conceptual framework of the reference point formation process for buying decisions. The basic concepts in the framework are supported, and the resulting reference points are shown to influence choice in a manner consistent with prospect theory.
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This paper analyzes the impact of automatic enrollment on 401(k) savings behavior. We have two key findings. First, 401(k) participation is significantly higher under automatic enrollment. Second, a substantial fraction of 401(k) participants hired under automatic enrollment retain both the default contribution rate and fund allocation even though few employees hired before automatic enrollment picked this particular outcome. This "default" behavior appears to result from participant inertia and from employee perceptions of the default as investment advice. These findings have implications for the design of 401(k) savings plans as well as for any type of Social Security reform that includes personal accounts over which individuals have control. They also shed light more generally on the importance of both economic and noneconomic (behavioral) factors in the determination of individual savings behavior. © 2001 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Behavioral economists increasingly argue that violations of rationality axioms provide a new rationale for paternalism - to “de-bias” individuals who exhibit errors, biases and other allegedly pathological psychological regularities associated with Tversky and Kahneman’s (in Science 185:1124-1131, 1974) heuristics- and-biases program. The argument is flawed, however, in neglecting to distinguish aggregate from individual rationality. The aggregate consequences of departures from normative decision-making axioms may be Pareto-inferior or superior. Without a well-specified theory of aggregation, individual-level biases do not necessarily imply losses in efficiency. This paper considers the problem of using a social-welfare function to decide whether to regulate risk-taking behavior in a population whose individual-level behavior may or may not be consistent with expected utility maximization. According to the social-welfare objective, unregulated aggregate risk distributions resulting from non-maximizing behavior are often more acceptable (i.e., lead to a weaker rationale for paternalism) than population distributions generated by behavior that conforms to the standard axioms. Thus, psychological theories that depart from axiomatic decision-making norms do not necessarily strengthen the case for paternalism, and conformity with such norms is generally not an appropriate policy-making objective in itself.
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In five studies, we measured the extent to which subjects weight moral product attributes in different response modes. We found that nonprice judgments such as likelihood of purchase ratings were more reflective of expressed moral attitudes than were pricing responses, and that holistic price evaluations were especially unlikely to reflect moral considerations. Post-task ratings confirmed the preference results, as did an experiment controlling for the influence of task goals. Our results have implications for compatibility theories of preference elicitation, the predictability of respondent ratings of attribute unacceptability, and the measurement of utilities for morally charged attributes. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
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How can anyone be rational in a world where knowledge is limited, time is pressing, and deep thought is often an unattainable luxury? Traditional models of unbounded rationality and optimization in cognitive science, economics, and animal behavior have tended to view decision-makers as possessing supernatural powers of reason, limitless knowledge, and endless time. But understanding decisions in the real world requires a more psychologically plausible notion of bounded rationality. In Simple heuristics that make us smart (Gigerenzer et al. 1999), we explore fast and frugal heuristics--simple rules in the mind's adaptive toolbox for making decisions with realistic mental resources. These heuristics can enable both living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices quickly and with a minimum of information by exploiting the way that information is structured in particular environments. In this précis, we show how simple building blocks that control information search, stop search, and make decisions can be put together to form classes of heuristics, including: ignorance-based and one-reason decision making for choice, elimination models for categorization, and satisficing heuristics for sequential search. These simple heuristics perform comparably to more complex algorithms, particularly when generalizing to new data--that is, simplicity leads to robustness. We present evidence regarding when people use simple heuristics and describe the challenges to be addressed by this research program.
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In this paper I have attempted to identify some of the structural characteristics that are typical of the "psychological' environments of organisms. We have seen that an organism in an environment with these characteristics requires only very simple perceptual and choice mechanisms to satisfy its several needs and to assure a high probability of its survival over extended periods of time. In particular, no "utility function' needs to be postulated for the organism, nor does it require any elaborate procedure for calculating marginal rates of substitution among different wants.