hig.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
What factors influence the choice between fish and meat among grocery shoppers?: Insights from an unsuccessful nudge intervention
Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm Sweden, and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm Sweden .
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4486-3644
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Food production is the human activity with the greatest impact on the earth systems and accounts for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing consumption of certain meat (e.g., beef, pork and lamb) and replacing it with proteins with less environmental impact has been highlighted as one of the greatest leverage points to achieve a more sustainable food system. In this study, we evaluate a nudge intervention at a medium-sized grocery store designed to reduce purchases of meat in favor of fish with a lower environmental impact. We also measure other relevant internal and external factors influencing this choice; such as values, attitudes, habits, demographics and price. To explore how the nudge influenced shopping decisions we designed a field experiment in the store, and measured the effect by collecting data on sales of fish (85 215 items sold over 143 days). To further evaluate the nudge and to explore how the other factors influence the choice of protein we collected data from a selected sample of customers (N=200). The results showed no evidence for the effectiveness of the nudge intervention, instead, we found that values, habits, attitudes and price all significantly influenced this protein choice. Our results highlight the complexity of shopping decisions and how nudge interventions are not always easy to implement.  We discuss the implications of these findings, possible improvements to the nudge and how interventions that aim to steer similar shopping decisions might need to account for habit-breaking to be effective. 

National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-39052OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-39052DiVA, id: diva2:1670893
Available from: 2022-06-16 Created: 2022-06-16 Last updated: 2022-06-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Make It Easier: A psychological perspective on sustainable behavior change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Make It Easier: A psychological perspective on sustainable behavior change
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human behavior is the cause of most environmental challenges we face today, and widespread behavioral change is urgently needed across actors and scales. Even though the public perception of the current ecological crisis has changed drastically in recent decades, a corresponding shift in behavior is lacking — unfortunately, mere belief in climate change is a poor predictor of taking action. In light of this knowledge-action gap, this thesis looks at behavior change from a psychological perspective and aims to explore how insights from the behavioral sciences can help understand and promote sustainable behavior change. This thesis mainly focuses on developing and testing interventions to promote pro-environmental behaviors. It studies the effectiveness of information-based nudges, manipulation of the physical environment, and the interaction between internal motivation to act and the immediate decision context. The thesis also explores the automatic and habitual aspects of behavior change. To this end, five studies were conducted. Four empirical studies in which interventions to promote pro-environmental behaviors were designed and implemented in different natural contexts. All interventions were evaluated using observed behavior and a mix of experimental designs, from lab experiments to natural field experiments. A fifth argument-driven conceptual paper was also written. Overall, the result from the studies highlights the potential (and complexity) of applying behavioral insights in intervention design: they indicate that the effect can be long-lasting and that relatively small changes in spatial layouts can produce significant behavior change. The results especially showcase the importance of the immediate decision context, and that if conditions are right, manipulating the physical environment can be a powerful, and potentially underutilized, tool to steer behavior. Notably, findings from a lab experiment showed that even when there are strong self-reported intentions to act, convenience to act sustainably might not be enough to spark change, as long as the alternative routine choice was equally convenient. Not until the more sustainable option was made to be the easier choice did significant change occur. The results also showcase the important role habit plays in our day-to-day actions and decisions, how habits can act as strong barriers to change, and that they link behavior to the physical environment. These insights complement the currently dominant narrative focused on intrinsic and rational motivation for acting sustainably and paves the way for a research agenda focused on exploring the manipulation of the physical environment and “habit architecture” as a way to spark sustainable behavior change.

Abstract [sv]

Människans beteende orsakar de flesta miljöutmaningar som vi står inför idag, vilken innebär att vi behöver se omfattande beteendeförändringar inom en nära framtid. Även fast kunskapen och den allmänna uppfattningen om den ekologiska kris vi nu befinner oss i har förändrats drastiskt under de senaste decennierna, saknas en motsvarande förändring i beteende – tyvärr är associationen mellan kunskap och ändrat beteende väldigt svag. I ljuset av det gapet, mellan kunskap och handling, utforskar denna avhandling beteendeförändringar ur ett psykologiskt perspektiv. Forskningen som presenteras här syftar till att undersöka hur insikter från beteendevetenskapen kan hjälpa oss att förstå och främja hållbara beteendeförändringar. Avhandlingen fokuserar främst på att utveckla och testa olika interventioner baserade på psykologiska insikter. Här studeras effektiviteten av informationsbaserade ”nudges”, förändringar i den fysiska miljön och interaktionen mellan inre motivation och den direkta omgivningen. Även de automatiska och vanemässiga aspekterna av beteendeförändringar utforskas. Fem studier genomfördes: i fyra empiriska studier utformades och implementerades interventioner för att främja miljövänliga beteenden i olika miljöer, dessa utvärderades med hjälp av olika experimentella designer: från laboratorieexperiment till naturliga fältexperiment, och effekten uppskattades med hjälp av observerat beteende. En femte konceptuell argumentdriven artikel skrevs också. Överlag belyser resultatet potentialen (men även komplexiteten) i att tillämpa insikter från beteendevetenskapen i designprocessen av olika interventioner: de visar att effekten kan vara långvarig och att relativt små ingripanden kan resultera i betydande beteendeförändring. Resultaten understryker även vikten av den omedelbara fysiska miljön, och att vid rätt förutsättningar – så kan manipulering av den fysiska miljön vara ett kraftfullt, och potentiellt underutnyttjat, verktyg för att styra beteenden mot hållbara val. Till exempelså visade resultaten från ett laboratorieexperiment att även om det fanns starka självrapporterade avsikter att agera hållbart och det samtidigt var ”lätt att göra rätt”, så var det inte tillräckligt — så länge det alternativa och mer vanemässiga beteendet var lika lätt eller lättare. Inte förrän den fysiska miljön gjorde det hållbara alternativet till det lättare valet, såg vi en betydande beteendeförändring. Resultaten belyser också den viktiga roll som vanor spelar för våra dagliga beslut och handlingar, hur vanor kan agera som barriärer mot förändring och hur de kopplar beteendet till den fysiska miljön. Dessa insikter kompletterar det dominerande narrativet inom dagens miljöforskning som främst fokuserar på rationellt beslutfattande och inre motivation att agera hållbart, och banar väg för en kompletterande forskningsagenda som fokuserar på manipulationen av den fysiska miljön och ”vanearkitektur” för att främja en hållbar beteendetransformation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2022. p. 46
Series
Doctoral thesis ; 29
Keywords
pro-environmental behavior, behavior change, intervention, habits, intentions, information, nudge, choice architecture, miljövänligt beteende, beteendeförändring, vanor, intentioner, information, nudge, valarkitektur
National Category
Psychology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainable Urban Development
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-39054 (URN)978-91-88145-89-5 (ISBN)978-91-88145-90-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-09-09, Stora Jadwigasalen 13:111, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-08-19 Created: 2022-06-16 Last updated: 2022-08-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Authority records

Linder, Noah

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Linder, Noah
By organisation
Environmental Science
Applied Psychology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 139 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf