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  • 1.
    Andersson, Hanna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Ahonen-Jonnarth, Ulla
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, UK; Luleå University of Technology.
    Wallhagen, Marita
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Bökman, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    What influences people’s tradeoff decisions between CO2 emissions and travel time? An experiment with anchors and normative messages2021In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 12, article id 702398Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the today’s greatest challenges is to adjust our behavior so that we can avoid a major climate disaster. To do so, we must make sacrifices for the sake of the environment. The study reported here investigates how anchors (extrinsic motivational-free information) and normative messages (extrinsic motivational information) influence people’s tradeoffs between travel time and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the context of car travel and whether any interactions with environmental concern (an intrinsic motivational factor) can be observed. In this study, people received either a CO2, health or no normative message together with either a high anchor, a low anchor, or no anchor. People that received both a high anchor and a CO2 emission normative message were willing to travel for a longer time than those that only received a high anchor. If a low anchor was presented, no differences in willingness to travel for a longer time were found between the three different conditions of normative message groups, i.e., CO2 normative message, health normative message, or no normative message. People with higher concern for the environment were found to be willing to travel for a longer time than those with lower concern for the environment. Further, this effect was strongest when a high anchor was presented. These results suggest that anchors and normative messages are among the many factors that can influence people’s tradeoffs between CO2 emission and travel time, and that various factors may have to be combined to increase their influence over pro-environmental behavior and decisions.

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  • 2.
    Andersson, Hanna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Bökman, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Wallhagen, Marita
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
    Ahonen-Jonnarth, Ulla
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Anchoring effect in judgments of objective fact and subjective preference2021In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 88, article id 104102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The way by which various sources of external information interact in their effects on judgment is rarely investigated. Here, we report two experiments that examine how two sources of external information—an anchor (a reference price) and an eco-label—influence judgments of an objective fact (product price) and a subjective preference (willingness-to-pay for the product). Participants’ price judgments were drawn in the direction of the anchor point, whereas the eco-label resulted in higher judgments of objective fact (Experiment 1) but did not influence subjective preference (Experiment 2). Interestingly, the eco-label seemed to strengthen the effect of the high anchor in judgments of objective fact. Further, participants with higher environmental concern answered a higher price on the subjective preference questions when they received a high anchor, as well as a lower price when they received a low anchor in comparison to the low environmental concern group. This study demonstrates that various external information sources can strengthen each other’s effects on consumer belief about products, while the effects are weaker for consumers’ preferences. The implications of the results for decision making are discussed.

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  • 3.
    Andersson, Hanna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
    Threadgold, Emma
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Beaman, Philip
    University of Reading, Reading, UK.
    Ball, Linden
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK, Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
    The negative footprint illusion is exacerbated by the numerosity of environment-friendly additions: unveiling the underpinning mechanisms2024In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 4.
    Haga, Andreas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Psychological restoration can depend on stimulus-source attribution: a challenge for the evolutionary account?2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, article id 1831Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Visiting or viewing nature environments can have restorative psychological effects, while exposure to the built environment typically has less positive effects. A classic view is that this difference in restorative potential of nature and built environments depends on differences in the intrinsic characteristics of the stimuli. In addition, an evolutionary account is often assumed whereby restoration is believed to be a hardwired response to nature’s stimulus-features. Here, we propose the novel hypothesis that the restorative effects of a stimulus do not entirely depend on the stimulus-features per se, but also on the meaning that people assign to the stimulus. Participants conducted cognitively demanding tests prior to and after a brief pause. During the pause, the participants were exposed to an ambiguous sound consisting of pink noise with white noise interspersed. Participants in the “nature sound-source condition” were told that the sound originated from a nature scene with a waterfall; participants in the “industrial sound-source condition” were told that the sound originated from an industrial environment with machinery; and participants in the “control condition” were told nothing about the sound origin. Self-reported mental exhaustion showed that participants in the nature sound-source condition were more psychologically restored after the pause than participants in the industrial sound-source condition. One potential interpretation of the results is that restoration from nature experiences depends on learned, positive associations with nature; not only on hardwired responses shaped by evolution.

  • 5.
    Haga, Andreas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hansla, André
    Göteborgs universitet.
    An eco-label effect in the built environment: Performance and comfort effects of labeling a light source environmentally friendly2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People tend to idealize eco-labeled products, but can eco-labeling have consequences for performance To address this question, 48 university students were asked to undertake a color discrimination task adjacent to a desktop lamp that was either labeled “environmentally friendly” or “conventional” (although they were identical). The light of the lamp labeled “environmentally friendly” was rated as more comfortable. Notably, task performance was also better when the lamp was labeled “environmentally friendly”. Individual differences in environmental concern, but not pro-environmental consumer behavior and social desirability indexes, were related to the magnitude of the eco-label effect on performance. Whilst some previous studies have shown similar placebo-like effects of eco-labels on subjective ratings, this is the first study to show an eco-label effect for artifacts in the built environment on performance, and the first study to relate this effect to environmental concern. Psychological mechanisms that may underpin the eco-label effects are discussed.

  • 6.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    The Effects of Sound on Proofreading: Can Task Engagement Shield from Distraction2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Performance on various cognitive tasks is impaired by task-irrelevant speech. The objective of this study was to manipulate the detrimental effects of task-irrelevant speech on a proofreading task, by increasing task engagement using an odd font (i.e. Haettenschweiler vs. Times). Texts were proofread in three different sound conditions (i.e. quiet, task-irrelevant speech and spectrally rotated speech). The participants searched for words (i.e. either content or function words) that were either misspelled or exchanged with contextually inappropriate words. Speech impaired detection of exchanged function words, but only when the text was written in Times, not when written in the odd font. Moreover, the participants missed fewer misspelled words in the speech condition, especially in Times, and they read more slowly in this sound condition. Taken together, these results indicate that proofreading behavior changes in the presence of task-irrelevant speech, to a more superficial/structural level of text processing (hence the improvement in detection of misspelled words), in comparison to the deeper/semantic level of text processing in the quiet condition (i.e., better detection of contextually inappropriate words). Greater task engagement (as indexed by the Haettenschweiler font), however, appears to protect the participant from the effect of sound on the ability to detect contextually inappropriate words.

  • 7.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lanchashire.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linköping University.
    Effects of speech on proofreading: can task-engagement manipulations shield against distraction?2014In: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 69-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports 2 experiments that examine techniques to shield against the potentially disruptive effects of task-irrelevant background speech on proofreading. The participants searched for errors in texts that were either normal (i.e., written in Times New Roman font) or altered (i.e., presented either in Haettenschweiler font or in Times New Roman but masked by visual noise) in 2 sound conditions: a silent condition and a condition with background speech. Proofreading for semantic/contextual errors was impaired by speech, but only when the text was normal. This effect of speech was completely abolished when the text was written in an altered font (Experiment 1) or when it was masked by visual noise (Experiment 2). There was no functional difference between the 2 ways to alter the text with regard to the way the manipulations influenced the effects of background speech on proofreading. The results indicate that increased task demands, which lead to greater focal-task engagement, may shield against the distracting effects of background speech on proofreading. 

  • 8.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    A Negative Footprint Illusion in Environmental Impact Estimates2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A major part of anthropogenic climate change is due to everyday human behavior, such as transportation, food and energy consumption. As a result, it has been argued that many barriers for mitigating climate change are psychological in nature. For example, people’s decisions and behaviors are subject to heuristics and biases which sometime harm our decisions. The benchmark of the present thesis is the finding that people believe that adding environmentally friendly items to a set of conventional items reduces the impact of the whole set. This phenomenon has been coined a negative footprint illusion (NFI). How robust is this effect, is it generalizable across judgmental dimensions and what is the mechanism that underpins the effect? This thesis concerns these three questions. Paper 1 found support for the assumption that an averaging bias underpins the NFI. On this view, the NFI appears because people intuitively respond with the average of the ‘vices’ (the unfriendly objects) and ‘virtues’ (the more environmentally friendly objects) in the combined set of objects. Paper 2 demonstrated that the NFI is insensitive to some levels of expertise. Furthermore, Paper 2 also reported the first demonstration of the NFI in the context of a within-participants design. Paper 3 found that a NFI can also be demonstrated in the context of atmospheric CO2 concentration estimates. Paper 3 also reported further evidence for the averaging bias account of the NFI and showed that the effect is at least insensitive to some variations in the framing of the problem posed to the participants. Paper 4 demonstrated that the NFI can be eliminated by priming a summative mindset before requesting participants to make the environmental impact estimates. Taken together, this thesis shows that the NFI is a robust phenomenon that can be found across various to-be-estimated stimulus materials, it appears to be underpinned by an averaging bias but can be cognitively controlled in certain conditions.

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  • 9.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Psychological benefits of green buildings2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Some studies suggest that environmentally certified buildings may have psychological benefits for their occupants (e.g., higher perceived overall comfort and greater work place satisfaction). In my coming paper, I aim to investigate whether people will perceive a room as more comfortable and satisfactory following information regarding a bogus environmentally certification of the building in which the room are situated. The research procedure will consist of two conditions (i.e., one experimental and one control condition) and two measurements. Both conditions will first receive a questionnaire before a lecture regarding a survey exploring how students perceive the indoor environment in a classroom in which they are in, the questionnaire will also contain questions about environmental concern and pro-environmental. One month later the participants in the experimental condition will receive the exact same questionnaire but with complementary information telling them that the room has in the past month undergone certain interventions leading to an environmental certification, whereas the control condition will receive the exact same questionnaire again. The hypothesis is that the participants in the experimental condition will perceive the room as more comfortable compared to the control condition. An intriguing research question is if the participants in the experimental condition will score higher on pro-environmental behavior intentions and on environmental concern compared to the control condition, if this is the case it will have implications for previous studies showing that occupants of environmentally certified buildings have greater environmental concern compared to occupants in conventional buildings. Finally, the results will both methodologically and theoretically deepen the understanding about why “green” buildings can have psychological benefits.          

  • 10.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    The Comfort Advantage in “Green” Buildings: A Reflection of Biased Self-Reports?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Just calling a food product or an artifact “eco-friendly” is enough to make individuals believe that the products have superior features compared to an objectively identical alternative labeled conventional (e.g., Sörqvist et al. 2013). Research show that occupants are more comfortable in “green” buildings (Kim, Hwang, Lee & Corser, 2015), if these self-reports are influenced by the “green” label are still unclear. The purpose of this paper was to extend this eco-label effect even further, namely to buildings. Participants in the environmentally framed condition rated the room as more comfortable to the room framed as conventional. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

    Theoretical background: Research in environmental psychology have shown that people assign higher taste-ratings to a food-product that is labeled as eco-friendly compared to a conventional alternative, even though the two products are in fact identical. This preference bias has been shown with various products. For example coffee (Sörqvist et al. 2013), bananas (Sörqvist et al. 2015), wine (Wiedmann, 2014), and lamps (Sörqvist, Haga, Holmgren & Hansla, 2015). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there exist a preference bias for “green” compared to conventional buildings

    Method: Thirty five university students participated in the study (16 women), with a mean age of 28.06 years (SD = 10.22), ranging from 18 years to 62 years.

    The study took place in two rooms, the participants were told that one room was run by an environmentally certified system, whereas the other room was run by a conventional system.

    They were then asked to assign comfort ratings to both rooms.

    A within design will be used with informational framing as the independent variable. The dependent variable was general comfort.

    Results: The participants perceived the "green" room (M = 6.11, SD = 2.06) as more comfortable than the "conventional" room (M = 5.40, SD = 1.63), even though the two rooms were identical, t(34) = 2.03, p = .050.

    Conclusion: Future studies investigating psychological benefits of “green” buildings should control for this preference bias, for example by not letting the participants know if the building is “green” or conventional. Also investigate potential methods regarding how to maximize this effect. 

  • 11.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Ball, Linden J.
    University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom; Luleå University of Technology.
    Can the negative footprint illusion be eliminated by summative priming?2021In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 337-356Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People’s belief that one or more environmentally friendly items that are added to a set of conventional items can reduce the total environmental impact of these items (the negative footprint illusion) could lead to unwanted environmental consequences. An averaging bias seems to underpin this illusion: people make their estimates based on the average of the environmental impact produced by the items rather than the accumulated sum. We report four studies that used various priming manipulations to explore whether people’s preoccupation to think in terms of an average can be eliminated by fostering a summative mindset. The results demonstrate that participants avoid succumbing to the negative footprint illusion when the critical judgment task is preceded by tasks that engender a summation judgment. Our evidence indicates that the negative footprint illusion can be tempered when a primed concept (summation) is used adaptively on subsequent judgments, thereby correcting for bias in environmental judgments.

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  • 12.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Bell, Linden J.
    Eliminating the Negative Footprint Illusion by Fostering a Summative Mindset using a Transfer ParadigmManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    People’s belief that an environmentally friendly item that is added to a set of conventional items has the ability to reduce the total environmental impact of these items could lead to unwanted environmental consequences. An averaging bias seems to underpin this negative footprint illusion: people make their estimates based on the average of the environmental impact produced by the items rather than their accumulative sum. We report a study using a problem-solving transfer paradigm to explore if this preoccupation to think in terms of an average can be eliminated by fostering a summative mindset. The results demonstrate that, participants can correctly estimate that environmental impact will increase when a “green” car is added to a set of petrol cars, but only when this task is preceded by a task that engenders a summation judgment. Our evidence indicates that the negative footprint illusion can be tempered by problem-solving transfer whereby a primed concept (summation) is used adaptively on subsequent judgments, thereby correcting for bias in environmental judgments.    

  • 13.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Averaging bias in environmental impact estimates: Evidence from the negative footprint illusion2018In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 55, p. 48-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we argue that unsustainable behaviors often stem from a common averaging bias when people estimate the environmental impact of a set of environmentally friendly and less friendly objects or actions. In Experiment 1, we show that people believe that the total carbon footprint of a category of items (a community of buildings in this case) is lower, rather than higher, when environmentally friendly (“green” buildings) items are added to the category, a negative footprint illusion. Experiment 2 showed  that the carbon footprint estimate assigned to a category with a mix of environmentally friendly and less friendly objects (“green” and conventional  buildings) is the average of its subsets (the “green” buildings and the  conventional buildings, respectively), an averaging bias. A similar averaging  process may underpin estimates of the environmental impact of people's own actions, explaining why people believe that environmentally friendly actions can compensate for less friendly actions.

  • 14.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Energy Systems and Building Technology.
    Langeborg, Linda
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Psychology.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Colding, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Ola
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Deceptive sustainability: Cognitive bias in people's judgment of the benefits of CO2 emission cuts2019In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 64, p. 48-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People's beliefs in the actions necessary to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are important to public policy acceptability. The current paper addressed beliefs concerning how periods of small emission cuts contribute to the total CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, by asking participants to rate the atmospheric CO2 concentration for various time periods and emission rates. The participants thought that a time period with higher emission rates combined with a period of lower emission rates generates less atmospheric CO2 in total, compared to the period with high emission rates alone – demonstrating a negative footprint illusion (Study 1). The participants appeared to base their CO2 estimates on the average, rather than on the accumulated sum, of the two periods' emissions – i.e. an averaging bias (Study 2). Moreover, the effect was robust to the wordings of the problem presented to the participants (Study 3). Together, these studies suggest that the averaging bias makes people exaggerate the benefits of small emission cuts. The averaging bias could make people willing to accept policies that reduce emission rates although insufficiently to alleviate global warming.

  • 15.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    When A+B < A: Cognitive bias in experts' judgment of environmental impact2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When ‘environmentally friendly’ items are added to a set of conventional items, people report that the total set will have a lower environmental impact even though the actual impact increases. One hypothesis is that this “negative footprint illusion” arises because people, who are susceptible to the illusion, lack necessary knowledge of the item’s actual environmental impact, perhaps coupled with a lack of mathematical skills. The study reported here addressed this hypothesis by recruiting participants (‘experts’) from a master’s program in energy systems, who thus have bachelor degrees in energy-related fields including academic training in mathematics. They were asked to estimate the number of trees needed to compensate for the environmental burden of two sets of buildings: One set of 150 buildings with conventional energy ratings and one set including the same 150 buildings but also 50 ‘green’ (energy-efficient) buildings. The experts reported that less trees were needed to compensate for the set with 150 conventional and 50 ‘green’ buildings compared to the set with only the 150 conventional buildings. This negative footprint illusion was as large in magnitude for the experts as it was for a group of novices without academic training in energy-related fields. We conclude that people are not immune to the negative footprint illusion even when they have the knowledge necessary to make accurate judgments.

  • 16.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Are mental biases responsible for the perceived comfort advantage in "green" buildings?2018In: Buildings, E-ISSN 2075-5309, Vol. 8, no 2, article id 20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind the certification influence the magnitude of the effect. In Experiment 1, participants in a between-subjects design assigned higher comfort ratings to an indoor environment that had been labeled "environmentally certified" in comparison with the exact same indoor environment that was unlabeled, suggesting that the effect arises even when participants do not compare the two environments when making their estimates. The results from Experiment 2 indicate that climate change mitigation (as the reason for the certification) is a slightly better trigger of the effect compared to climate change adaptation. The results suggest that studies on psychological effects of "green" buildings should experimentally control for the influence from participants' judgmental biases.

  • 17.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Occupant perception of “green” buildings: Distinguishing physical and psychological factors2017In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 114, p. 140-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies have found a preference bias for “environmentally friendly” or “green” artifacts and buildings. For example, indoor environments are more favorably viewed when the building is labeled/certified “green”, in comparison with one that is not labeled/certified, even though the two environments are actually identical. The present study explored how physical properties of the indoor environment (high vs. low temperature) and labeling (“green” vs. “conventional”) interacts in their effect on environment perception. Participants performed a series of tasks in four indoor environments with different labels (low vs. high carbon footprint) and different temperatures (23°C vs. 28°C). Label and temperature were manipulated orthogonally. The participants’ environmental concern was also measured. The environmentally concerned participant assigned higher thermal acceptance and satisfaction scores to the environment labeled “low carbon footprint” (i.e., “green” certified) compared to the environment labeled “high carbon footprint” (i.e., not “green” certified), but only in the cooler thermal environment. Environmentally indifferent participants’ perception of the environment did not differ depending on label or room temperature. The results suggest that a “green” label positively influence the perception of the indoor environment for occupants, but only when the temperature is within the acceptable range as proposed in guidelines for “green” buildings.

  • 18.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hurtig, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Recall of spoken word lists in English and native Swedish presented at different signal-to-noise ratios and different reverberation times: A comparison between children aged 10-11 years and college students2014In: 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), Nara, Japan, 1-5 June, 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments will be presented which assessed free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and in English heard under different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR: +3 and +12 dB), and different reverberation times (RT: 0.3 and 1.2 s). All participants encountered these eight experimental conditions (Language*SNR*RT). The first experiment was run with college student (N=48), who were run individually. In the second experiment children in grade 4 (10-11 years, N=72) took part and they were run as a group in their regular classrooms.

    Twelve wordlists in English and twelve wordlists in Swedish were generated. The words were chosen according to their ranks in category norms for the two languages. The number of words in each list was 12 for the college group and 8 for children in Grade 4. The 2 x 12 wordlists were presented in counter balanced presentation orders in three blocks (Blocks). To compare primacy and recency effects the word lists were divided into three parts (p3rd). After each wordlist the participants typed in or wrote down the words they could recall.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SNR was low and the RT was long, and that SNR and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Study (Grade4/College). The analyses suggest that for both groups there were expected effects of language and of SNR, but the effect of RT was smaller and only showed up in interactions.

  • 19.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hurtig, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Recall of spoken words in English and Swedish heard at different signal-to-noise ratios and different reverberation times: Children aged 10-11 years and college students2014In: 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP 2014), Paris, France, 8-13 July, 2014: Abstracts, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments will be presented which assessed free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and in English heard under different signal-to-noise (SN) ratios (+3 and +12 dB), and different reverberation time (RT, .3 and 1.2 sec). All participants encountered all eight experimental conditions (Language*SN*RT). The first experiment was run with college student (N=48) and they were run individually. In the second experiment children in grade 4 (10-11 years, N=72) took part and they were run in the regular classrooms.

    Twelve wordlists in Swedish and twelve wordlists in English generated. The words were chosen according to their ranks in category norms for the two languages, and no category was the same for the two languages. The number of words in each list was 12 for the college group and 8 for grade four. The 2 x 12 wordlists were presented in counter balanced presentation orders in three blocks. Within each block order of S/N and RT was also counterbalanced. After each wordlist the participants wrote down the words they could recall. Pre-experimental measures of working memory capacity were also taken.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SN-ratio was low and the RT was long, and that SN and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Age-group.

    To compare primacy and recency effects the word lists were divided into three parts (p3rd). After each wordlist the participants typed in or wrote down the words they could recall.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SNR was low and the RT was long, and that SNR and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Study (Grade4/College). The analyses suggest that for both groups there were expected effects of language and of SNR, but the effect of RT was smaller and only showed up in interactions.

  • 20.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Assuming the best: Individual differences in compensatory “green” beliefs predict susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 8, article id 3414Article in journal (Refereed)
    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 &ldquo;green&rdquo; or environmentally friendly labelled products or behaviors. The present study therefore aims to investigate the relationship between participants&rsquo; degree of compensatory thinking (e.g., &ldquo;Recycling compensates for driving a car&rdquo;) and their susceptibility to the Negative Footprint Illusion, a widely replicated phenomenon demonstrating that the presence of &ldquo;green&rdquo; 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 &ldquo;green&rdquo; 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 &ldquo;green&rdquo; products, providing a foundation for further investigation of the influence of &ldquo;green&rdquo; and compensatory beliefs on carbon footprint estimates.

  • 21.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Göteborgs Universitet.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hansla, André
    Göteborgs Universitet.
    An eco-label effect in the built environment: Performance and comfort effects of labeling a light source environmentally friendly2015In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 42, p. 123-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People tend to idealize eco-labeled products, but can eco-labeling have consequences for performance? To address this question, 48 university students were asked to undertake a color discrimination task adjacent to a desktop lamp that was either labeled “environmentally friendly” or “conventional” (although they were identical). The light of the lamp labeled “environmentally friendly” was rated as more comfortable. Notably, task performance was also better when the lamp was labeled “environmentally friendly”. Individual differences in environmental concern, but not pro-environmental consumer behavior and social desirability indexes, were related to the magnitude of the eco-label effect on performance. Whilst some previous studies have shown similar placebo-like effects of eco-labels on subjective ratings, this is the first study to show an eco-label effect for artifacts in the built environment on performance, and the first study to relate this effect to environmental concern. Psychological mechanisms that may underpin the eco-label effects are discussed.

  • 22.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Langeborg, Linda
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Wallinder, Maria
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Seager, Paul
    University of Central Lancashire.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire.
    The green halo: Mechanisms and limits of the eco-label effect2015In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 43, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consumers believe that “eco-labeled” products taste better, which, at least in part, may be an effect of the label. The purpose of the current series of experiments was to examine some mechanisms and limits of this eco-label effect. In Experiment 1, an eco-label effect of similar magnitude was found for taste ratings of both conventional and organic bananas. Experiment 2 showed eco-label effects for a wider range of judgmental dimensions (i.e., health, calories, vitamins/minerals, mental performance, and willingness to pay) and the effect was about the same in magnitude for judgments of grapes and raisins. Experiment 3, with water as the tasted product, found no eco-label effect on judgments of taste, calories and vitamins/minerals, but an effect on willingness to pay, judgments of health benefits and judgments of mental performance benefits. Experiments 2 and 3 also included questionnaires on social desirability traits, schizotypal traits and pro-environmental consumer traits. The last was the strongest predictor of the eco-label effect amongst the three. In all, the eco-label effect is a robust phenomenon, but depends on interactions between product type and judgmental dimension. Implications for several accounts of the effect are discussed.

  • 23.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Hedblom, Daniel
    The University of Chicago.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Langeborg, Linda
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Kågström, Jonas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Who needs cream and sugar when there is eco-labeling?: Taste and willingness to pay for 'eco-friendly' coffee2013In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 12, p. e80719-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    The negative footprint illusion in environmental impact estimates: Methodological considerations2022In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 13, article id 990056Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Past research has consistently shown that carbon footprint estimates of a set of conventional and more environmentally friendly items in combination tend to be lower than estimates of the conventional items alone. This ‘negative footprint illusion’ is a benchmark for the study of how cognitive heuristics and biases underpin environmentally significant behavior. However, for this to be a useful paradigm, the findings must also be reliable and valid, and an understanding of how methodological details such as response time pressure influence the illusion is necessary. Past research has cast some doubt as to whether the illusion is obtained when responses are made on a ratio/quantitative scale and when a within-participants design is used. Moreover, in past research on the negative footprint illusion, participants have had essentially as much time as they liked to make the estimates. It is yet unknown how time pressure influences the effect. This paper reports an experiment that found the effect when participants were asked to estimate the items’ emissions in kilograms CO2 (a ratio scale) under high and under low time pressure, using a within-participants design. Thus, the negative footprint illusion seems to be a reliable and valid phenomenon that generalizes across methodological considerations and is not an artifact of specific details in the experimental setup.

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  • 25.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Västfjäll, Daniel
    Linköpings universitet.
    Moral spillover in carbon offset judgments2022In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 13, article id 957252Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Moral spillover occurs when a morally loaded behavior becomes associated with another source. In the current paper, we addressed whether the moral motive behind causing CO2 emissions spills over on to how much people think is needed to compensate for the emissions. Reforestation (planting trees) is a common carbon-offset technique. With this in mind, participants estimated the number of trees needed to compensate for the carbon emissions from vehicles that were traveling with various moral motives. Two experiments revealed that people think larger carbon offsets are needed to compensate for the emissions when the emissions are caused by traveling for immoral reasons, in comparison with when caused by traveling for moral reasons. Hence, moral motives influence people’s judgments of carbon-offset requirements even though these motives have no bearing on what is compensated for. Moreover, the effect was insensitive to individual differences in carbon literacy and gender and to the unit (kilograms or tons) in which the CO2 emissions were expressed to the participants. The findings stress the role of emotion in how people perceive carbon offsetting.

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  • 26.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hulme, Rebecca
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Seager, Paul B.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Effects of labeling a product eco-friendly and genetically modified: A cross-cultural comparison for estimates of taste, willingness to pay and health consequences2016In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 50, p. 65-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the demand for eco-friendly food—produced without pesticides and environmentally harmful chemicals—increases, the need to develop genetically modified (GM) organisms that are more resistant to parasites and other environmental crop threats may increase. Because of this, products labeled both “eco-friendly” and “genetically modified” could become commonly available on the market. In this paper, we explore—in a Swedish and a UK sample—the consequences of combining eco-labeling and GM-labeling to judgments of taste, health consequences and willingness to pay for raisins. Participants tasted and evaluated four categories of raisins (eco-labeled and GM-labeled; eco-labeled; GM-labeled; and neither eco-labeled nor GM-labeled). The results suggest that there is a cost associated with adding a GM-label to an eco-labeled product: The GM-label removes the psychological benefits of the eco-label. This negative effect of the GM-label was larger among Swedish participants in comparison with UK participants, because the magnitude of the positive effect of the eco-label was larger in the Swedish sample and, hence, the negative effects of the GM-label became more pronounced. The pattern was somewhat different depending on judgmental dimension. The cost associated with adding a GM-label was larger in estimates of taste and health than in estimates of willingness to pay, at least for the Swedish sample. The roles of individual differences in attitudes, environmental concern and socially desirable responding in relation to the label effects are discussed.

  • 27.
    Threadgold, Emma
    et al.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom; Luleå University of Technology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Nelson, Megan
    Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.
    Ball, Linden J.
    Biased Estimates of Environmental Impact in the Negative Footprint Illusion: The Nature of Individual Variation2022In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 12, article id 648328Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People consistently act in ways that harm the environment, even when believing their actions are environmentally friendly. A case in point is a biased judgment termed the negative footprint illusion, which arises when people believe that the addition of “eco-friendly” items (e.g., environmentally certified houses) to conventional items (e.g., standard houses), reduces the total carbon footprint of the whole item-set, whereas the carbon footprint is, in fact, increased because eco-friendly items still contribute to the overall carbon footprint. Previous research suggests this illusion is the manifestation of an “averaging-bias.” We present two studies that explore whether people’s susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion is associated with individual differences in: (i) environment-specific reasoning dispositions measured in terms of compensatory green beliefs and environmental concerns; or (ii) general analytic reasoning dispositions measured in terms of actively open-minded thinking, avoidance of impulsivity and reflective reasoning (indexed using the Cognitive Reflection Test; CRT). A negative footprint illusion was demonstrated when participants rated the carbon footprint of conventional buildings combined with eco-friendly buildings (Study 1 and 2) and conventional cars combined with eco-friendly cars (Study 2). However, the illusion was not identified in participants’ ratings of the carbon footprint of apples (Study 1 and 2). In Studies 1 and 2, environment-specific dispositions were found to be unrelated to the negative footprint illusion. Regarding reflective thinking dispositions, reduced susceptibility to the negative footprint illusion was only associated with actively open-minded thinking measured on a 7-item scale (Study 1) and 17-item scale (Study 2). Our findings provide partial support for the existence of a negative footprint illusion and reveal a role of individual variation in reflective reasoning dispositions in accounting for a limited element of differential susceptibility to this illusion.

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  • 28.
    Wallhagen, Marita
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Brister i vårt logiska tänkande ett hinder för klimatkloka beslut2019In: Husbyggaren, ISSN 0018-7968, no 1, p. 23-25Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
1 - 28 of 28
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