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Assuming the best: Individual differences in compensatory “green” beliefs predict susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion
Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-4947-4579
Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8442-8324
Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-1664-5650
2020 (engelsk)Inngår i: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, nr 8, artikkel-id 3414Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent years have seen a marked increase in carbon emissions despite pledges made by the international community at the Paris Accord in 2015 to reduce fossil fuel production and consumption. Rebound effects could contribute to this phenomenon as, in which attempts to curb carbon emissions might have inadvertently led to an upswing in fossil fuel usage. The present study hypothesizes that rebound effects are driven by a misapplication of compensatory balancing heuristics, with the unintended outcome of producing inaccurate estimates of the environmental impact of “green” or environmentally friendly labelled products or behaviors. The present study therefore aims to investigate the relationship between participants’ degree of compensatory thinking (e.g., “Recycling compensates for driving a car”) and their susceptibility to the Negative Footprint Illusion, a widely replicated phenomenon demonstrating that the presence of “green” products biases carbon footprint estimations. One hundred and twelve participants were asked to complete a 15-item Compensatory Green Beliefs scale and to estimate the total carbon footprint of a set of 15 conventional houses, followed by a set that included 15 “green” houses in addition to 15 conventional houses. Results indicated that participants, on average, believed that the "green" houses were carbon neutral, and that susceptibility to the Negative Footprint Illusion was predicted by performance on the Compensatory Green Beliefs scale. This is the first study confirming that individual differences in cognitive processes (i.e., Compensatory Green Beliefs) are indeed related to inaccurate estimates of “green” products, providing a foundation for further investigation of the influence of “green” and compensatory beliefs on carbon footprint estimates.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
MDPI, 2020. Vol. 12, nr 8, artikkel-id 3414
Emneord [en]
Negative Footprint Illusion, Compensatory Green Beliefs, climate change, judgment
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Hållbar stadsutveckling
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-32364DOI: 10.3390/su12083414ISI: 000535598700347Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85084834307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-32364DiVA, id: diva2:1433960
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-06-02 Laget: 2020-06-02 Sist oppdatert: 2022-02-10bibliografisk kontrollert

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MacCutcheon, DouglasHolmgren, MattiasHaga, Andreas

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