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The negative footprint illusion is exacerbated by the numerosity of environment-friendly additions: unveiling the underpinning mechanisms
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6151-9664
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8442-8324
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Luleå Tekniska Universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7584-2275
University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
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2024 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 295-307Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The addition of environmentally friendly items to conventional items sometimes leads people to believe that the carbon footprint of the entire set decreases rather than increases. This negative footprint illusion is supposedly underpinned by an averaging bias: people base environmental impact estimates not on the total impact of items but on their average. Here, we found that the illusion’s magnitude increased with the addition of a greater number of “green” items when the number of conventional items remained constant (Studies 1 and 2), supporting the averaging-bias account. We challenged this account by testing what happens when the number of items in the conventional and “green” categories vary while holding the ratio between the two categories constant (Study 3). At odds with the averaging-bias account, the magnitude of the illusion increased as the category size increased, revealing a category-size bias, and raising questions about the interplay between these biases in the illusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis , 2024. Vol. 36, no 2, p. 295-307
Keywords [en]
Negative footprint illusion, environmental impact, bias
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Sustainable Urban Development
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-43413DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2024.2313568ISI: 001167907900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-43413DiVA, id: diva2:1817961
Available from: 2023-12-08 Created: 2023-12-08 Last updated: 2024-04-19Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, HannaHolmgren, MattiasSörqvist, PatrikMarsh, John E.

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