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Low-carbon Lifestyles and Behavioural Spillover

Objective

Responding to climate change has profound implications for behaviour; yet policies to achieve this change have met with limited success. A key challenge for environmental social scientists is the need to move forward in understanding how to bring about change in consumption, community and political behaviours, which is commensurate to the scale of the climate change challenge. One promising area is ‘behavioural spillover’, the notion that taking up a new behaviour (e.g., recycling) may lead to adoption of other, more environmentally beneficial, behaviours. Such a notion appears to hold the promise of changing a suite of behaviours in a cost-effective way. Yet despite robust theoretical principles (e.g., self-perception theory) underpinning behavioural spillover, there is little empirical research. The proposed research intends to produce a step-change in behavioural and sustainability science by undertaking a mixed-method, cross-cultural study of pro-environmental behavioural spillover in order to open up new ways of promoting sustainable lifestyle change and significantly broadening our understanding of behaviour within individuals and cultures. There are three objectives for the research:
1. To examine ways in which pro-environmental behaviour, lifestyles and spillover are understood and develop within different cultures;
2. To understand drivers of behavioural consistency and spillover effects across contexts, including home and work, and cultures; and
3. To develop a theoretical framework for behavioural spillover and test interventions to promote spillover across different contexts and cultures.
Three Work Packages will address these objectives:
1. Defining and understanding spillover: Focus groups with biographical questions and card sorts [Years 1-2]
2. Examining drivers of spillover: Cross-national survey with factor, correlation and regression analyses [Years 2-3]
3. Developing theory and testing interventions: Laboratory and field experiments [Years 3-5]

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/economics/sustainable economy

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 486 562,50
Principal investigator
Lorraine Elisabeth Whitmarsh (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Keith Sexton (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 486 562,50
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Lorraine Elisabeth Whitmarsh (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Keith Sexton (Mr.)