Informing versus Nudging in Environmental Policy

Journal of Consumer Policy, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 341-356, 2014

Posted: 23 Apr 2015

See all articles by Folke Olander

Folke Olander

Aarhus University - School of Business and Social Sciences

John Thøgersen

Aarhus University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Information has not been proven a very successful means to promote voluntary behaviour change to protect the environment. On this backcloth, there is currently increasing interest in recommendations from behavioural economics focusing on making the choice architecture more facilitating for the desired behaviour. The authors present three studies demonstrating how mental shortcuts, based on subtle cues in the context, unconsciously influence human decision-making, with important consequences for the environment. Two of our own studies illustrate the behavioural impacts of (a) anchoring (the design of the European energy label) and (b) default effect (the framing of a request to participate in the Smart Grid), and data from Göckeritz et al. (Eur J Soc Psych 40:514-523, 2010) are used to illustrate the impacts of (c) herding or descriptive norms (the social context of energy saving). The authors end by pointing at theoretical weaknesses in behavioural economics and calling for research to strengthening the theoretical underpinnings of this approach to behaviour change.

Keywords: Environmental policy, Information, Nudging, Energy labelling, SmartGrid, Energy saving

Suggested Citation

Olander, Folke and Thøgersen, John, Informing versus Nudging in Environmental Policy (2014). Journal of Consumer Policy, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 341-356, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2597494

Folke Olander (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - School of Business and Social Sciences ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000
Denmark

John Thøgersen

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

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