Monday from 17-18 o'clock. All poster presentations up to ID-141. Location: Spiegel- & Bruinzaal.
1. Seeing the forest vs. the trees: General vs. specific predictors of environmental behavior
N. Carmi, S. Arnon, & N. Orion
The domain of environmental protection is comprised from many sub-domains as recycling, conserving water, or reducing the consumption of energy. The attitude–behavior gap is partly explained by the gap between the specificity levels of the particular measured behavior and of its antecedent(s). The present study aimed at assessing the effects of general vs. domain-specific behavior’s proximal antecedents included in the theory of planned behavior (TPB) model (intentions, attitudes towards the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) on performance of specific environmental behaviors (EBs) in five environmental sub-domains. We found that in all of the environmental domains examined, a specifically worded TPB model predicted specific behaviors better than a generally worded TPB model did. However, the magnitude of the improvement varied among behavioral domains and the improvement did not arise from the same TPB elements in every domain. I shall discuss: 1. the extent to which existing models can explore and accurately predict specific EB's and 2. The importance of the specificity level in the way we study, educate for or act to bring about a behavioral change.
2. Attitude Change in Personal Travel - A Qualitative Investigation
C. Hoffmann, C. Abraham, S. Skippon, & M. White
Environmental impacts of personal car use are under increasing scrutiny and, for example, account for 12% of overall EU carbon emissions. Promoting non-car-mode travel has potential to contribute to reduced greenhouse gases but it is unclear how best to promote these alternatives. Psychological antecedents of non-car travel and switching from car to non-car use have been modelled. Qualitative investigation of these antecedents can highlight change processes and instability of psychological antecedents, including attitudes. We explored variability of transport attitudes in response to different personal goals, considering a range of transport modes. Laddering interviews were conducted with three distinct transport mode users to investigate underlying hierarchical goal and value structures. Results highlight that travel model attitudes are changeable and sensitive to prompted goals, showing that people’s view of non-car mode transport may change over time and place. These insights imply that different communicative strategies can be effective for different people under different circumstances. The findings have implications both for future attitude measurement and intervention design.
3. Effect of frequency and type of contact with nature on children’s pro-environmentalism
S. Collado, J. A. Corraliza, H. Staats, & M. A. Ruiz
Several studies encourage contact with nature as a tool to promote pro-environmentalism. However, the relationship between spending time a natural place and behaving in an ecological manner seems to be contingent on various factors. This study evaluates the impact of Frequency of Contact with Nature (FCN) on children’s Environmental Attitudes (EA) and Ecological Behaviors (EB) considering three different types of daily experiences in nature: (1) work-related & (2) non work-related in rural areas and (3) non work-related in a city. FCN was expected to impact children’s EB both directly and indirectly, through EA. A multigroup structural equation model revealed that the relationship between FCN, EA and EB differs among children with different kinds of daily experience in nature. Overall, FCN positively influences EB in the three conditions. The strongest total impact was found for children living in the city and the weakest for those in the work-related rural area. No direct effect of FCN on EB was found for children in the non work-related rural area, and a negative direct effect for those in the work-related rural area. A better understanding of this direct effect will be needed in order to give recommendations for environmental education initiatives.
4. The effects of task interruptions and background speech on writing
M. Keus van de Poll
Background speech and task interruptions are common place in open offices. Different studies have shown disturbing effects of background speech and task interruptions on different cognitive tasks relevant for office work. In the present study, combined effects of task interruptions and background speech on writing were investigated. As it should take some time to continue writing after being interrupted, the present study explored the time it takes to reach the same speed of writing (words per second) as before the interruption (baseline level). One expectation was that it should take more time to reach baseline level after being interrupted when background speech was present. University students wrote different stories of five minutes per story, with presence of background speech and in silence. In half of the conditions, they were interrupted three times for thirty seconds per time by being requested to do a calculation task. Results showed that time to reach baseline level after the interruption was between 10 and 15 seconds. Background speech had an overall effect on writing performance but did not interact with interruptions.
5. Glorification of eco-labeled objects: An effect of intrinsic or social desirability?
P. Sörqvist & L. Langeborg
Environmentally friendly consumables and products are often perceived as superior to their conventional counterparts. The reason for this, at least in part, is that people tend to glorify eco-labeled objects. For example, people prefer the taste of coffee called “eco-friendly” in comparison with another cup of coffee called “conventional”, even when the two cups of coffee are actually identical and merely named differently. What is the underlying mechanism of this eco-label effect? Do people report superior evaluations of eco-labeled products for intrinsic reasons or because they think this attitude is approved by others (a social desirability mechanism)? In two experiments, the participants’ concerns with social desirability were manipulated by telling them that their taste judgments of consumables were monitored by others. The eco-label effect was just as strong in the high social desirability concerns condition as in a control condition (Experiments 1 and 2). However, the eco-label effect was stronger in magnitude for participants who were told that consumers are morally responsible for the environmental consequences of their consumer behavior (Experiment 2). Taken together, the eco-label effect appears to be caused by intrinsic desirability processes, not by social desirability processes.
6. Beneficial effects of dance in natural environments as a function of objectively measured physical engagement
K. Byrka & N. Ryczko
Psychological benefits of jogging or walking in natural environments have been well documented. Beneficial effects of dancing in outdoor environments are less obvious and require evidence. Using different environments, we tested how engagement in this social, organized, and accompanied by music form of activity may lead to emotional restoration. Sixty-six regular dancers participated in a salsa-solo session either indoors (dance room) or outdoors (park). Their level of restoration was assessed with self-reports of emotions and stress before and after the session. Additionally, participant’s physical engagement was measured objectively with three-axes accelerometers. The dancers in the park felt more relaxed and calm after the salsa session in comparison to the group dancing indoors. No differences were observed in the level of enthusiasm and perceived physical fatigue in two groups. Remarkably, objectively measured engagement was much higher among the dancers in the park. Moreover, objective engagement appeared to fully mediate the beneficial effect of outdoor environment on the level of restoration. Although dance is usually performed indoors, natural environments seem to amplify its merits for psychological restoration. The results encourage further research on the role of physical engagement as a mediator of the effect of restorative environments on people’s psychological well-being.
7. Multidimensional scale to assess psychological connectedness toward natural environment
It is very likely that the nature connectedness is affected by the cultural attitudes toward nature. However, most of the studies on nature connectedness are currently from European countries. In this study, the researcher developed a new multidimensional scale to assess nature connectedness of Japanese people. The questionnaire items were selected through a factor analysis with oblimin rotation of the data obtained from 196 university students. Five factors were extracted in the factor analysis: "Restorativeness", "Oneness", "Mystery", "Care", and "Aversion." Four items were then selected to represent each of the five factors. The developed scale was administered to a total of 529 adults (282 male and 247 female, mean age = 47.59 years old, SD = 13.11) with other existing nature connectedness scales: Connectedness to Nature Scale (Mayer & Frantz, 2004), Emotional Affinity towards Nature Scale (Müller, Kals, and Pansa, 2009), and Love and Care for Nature Scale (Perkins, 2010). Correlational analysis showed that the score of Oneness was highly correlated with that of other scales (r > .85). The correlation among the scores of existing scales and Oneness were then partialed out and relations among scores of other four factors and existing nature connectedness scales were examined.
8. The Influence of Biospheric Values on Beliefs, Personal Norms and Pro-Environmental Behaviour
E.K Stein & J. Neill
In this study, the influence of personal values (egoistic, biospheric or altruistic), beliefs (acceptance of the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP), awareness of consequences (AC) and ascription of responsibility (AR)) and pro-environmental personal norms upon environmental behaviours was examined in line with the Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) model. These VBN model components explained the variance in activism (24%), policy support (24%), environmental citizenship (26%) and private sphere behaviours (18%) in a population of Australian university students (N = 262). Of interest were statistically significant (p <.001) correlations that existed between biospheric values and all other VBN model components; NEP acceptance (β = .38), AC (β = .19), AR (β = .29), personal norms (β = .20), activism (β = .31), policy support (β = .24), environmental citizenship (β = .21) and private sphere behaviours (β = .18, p = .01). These significant correlations were not seen for altruistic values and only seen between egoistic values and NEP acceptance (β = -.19). Perhaps through leadership, individuals with biospheric values (importance of environment placed above self and others) may hold the key to changing environmental behaviours of society as they were more likely to act pro-environmentally and hold pro-environmental beliefs and personal norms.
9. Fear of crime in urban parks -who feared the most?
S. Maruthaveeran, A. Arnberger, & C. Konijnendijk Van Den Bosch
This study attempted to examine the effects of environmental cues and social cues on fear of crime in urban park settings via manipulated photographs which were created using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 software. Respondents (N=669) were requested to view a set of 12 manipulated photographs in an urban park setting and rate their perceived personal safety for each photograph by using a seven point Likert scale. The results revealed photo with the present of social disorder (e.g. graffiti, trash, low maintenance), high concealment and without the presence of others were considered the most fearful (M=5.86; SD = 1.345). While, photo without the presence of physical disorder, low concealment and with the present of others were considered least fearful (M=1.85; SD= 1.327). Female participants perceived higher fear (M = 4.66, SD= 0.87) compared to the male respondents (M = 4.39, SD= 0.91). Differences were found to be statistically significant (t= -3.847, p<0.05). The results also show significant differences in fear of crime for different age groups (F(4,664) = 2.56, p<0.05). However, Scheffe post-hoc comparison found not statistically significant differences within the different age groups. However no statistically significant differences were found between the mean values of fear of crime with different ethnic groups.
10. Measuring Sustainable Consciousness
P. Schweizer-Ries, O. Stengel, & S. Wallaschkowski
A literature review reveals the existence of a widespread and deeply felt concern for a sustainable development. Unfortunately, this concern has not yet triggered pro-sustainable behavior mostly. The review also reveals an existing research gap regarding a comprehensive measurement of the consciousness for sustainability. To fill this gap the authors present an item pool based on theoretical considerations. The pool consists of items, measuring the consciousness for sustainability in an broad understanding, including behavior that is supposed to be sustainable. In addition empirical outcomes of a survey will be presented. The survey covers a sample of 400-500 pupils in Germany´s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia. The primary goals are on one hand side to measure the pupils´ sustainable consciousness and on the other hand side to test the validity and discriminatory power of our item pool approach, applying confirmatory factor analysis and between-group comparison.
11. Rethinking urban spaces: A question of public art’s contribution on restorative environments in urban spaces
M. F. Hasna
Research on what is meant by a restorative environment in an urban context has focused mostly on visual stimuli in nature such as green spaces and how such spaces can alleviate stress and reduce attention fatigue. Drawing on these ideas, research has turned to the built environment, with a particular focus on museums and religious buildings as restorative spaces. More recent work extends these ideas to that of public art, and its potential in contributing towards psychological restoration. While it is recognised that art is beneficial for psychological health as it can help alleviate stress and anxiety, little is known about its restorative attributes and how these may link to existing theories of restorative environments. In order to better understand the contribution public art may have in creating restorative environments, this paper draws on site observations of how people interact with public art, and semi-structured interviews undertaken with local authorities, the artists who created these art works and the user of public spaces. The findings suggest public art can contribute towards psychological restoration, hence strengthen the rational of its existence in urban public spaces.
12. Noise annoyance in open-plan study environments
P. E. Braat-Eggen, A. Kohlrausch, & M. Hornikx
Noise is one of the most annoying factors in open-plan offices, and has a disrupting effect on cognitive performance. Most students in higher education in the Netherlands work regularly in open-plan work environments. However, there is a lack of research on the acoustics of open study environments. The aim of this research is to discover the relation between the perception of noise and the acoustic design of open-plan study environments. Three open-plan study environments were examined. Interviews, observations and questionnaires were used to identify and characterize student activities in open-plan study environments and how they are affected by noise. Data show that 40% of the students are disturbed by noise. The noise, in particular intelligible and non-intelligible speech, is disruptive for complex cognitive tasks like writing essays and comprehensive reading. As a next step, measurements will be done to determine the time-averaged sound pressure levels in the occupied study environments. Furthermore, parameters will be computed that allow to characterize the acoustic environment (STI, rD, rP, D2,S, Lp,A,S,4m, Lp,A,B, T60). Statistical analyses will be used to determine the relation between the different parameters and the perceived noise. The results of these analyses will be presented at the conference.
13. Policies and Practices on Improving Walking Transport in China - Dalian as Case Study
L. Lianlian & L. Wei
Since 1990s, it is more difficulties for most people to walk easily in the cities with increasing volumes of cars in China. But during the last decades, with the support from official policies and demonstrative practices on walk planning in cities, travel environment of pedestrian and their safety had improved greatly. This study at first reviewed the development of policies and practices on pedestrianization in Chinese cities last two decades. Especially with improvement by local government and civil societies, a series of policies and measures has put forward to promote improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking on state level since 2012. Then the problems of regulations of traffic and urban planning links with walking transport in China were discussed. At last, improvements and problems of walking environment in Dalian as the case study were studied. For last two decades, Dalian as the one of the ten pedestrian friendly cities in China, has improved their walking environment in inner city, seaside areas and mountain areas. In conclusion, with the rise of environmental awareness, more attentions on walking transport has paid in the urban and traffic planning. A unique urban pedestrian culture is forming gradually by way of official promotional pedestrianisation policies and civic walking activities around the Chinese cities.
14. Accessibility of School and Travel Behavior of Students
L. Wei, L. Lianlian, & W. Wen
With the rapid development of urbanization in China, more and more problems occurred from traffic congestion, energy, environment. Travel behavior of students going school has changed greatly since 1990s.A middle school of Dalian was selected as case in this study. At first, school planning and transport planning around the campus area were surveyed for their accessibility. Then student travel behavior includes traffic modes, traffic distance and their attitude for traffic environment was explored by observation and questionnaire in three classes of middle school. At last, Interactions between the accessibility of school and student traffic behavior were discussed. In conclusion, Some proposals for improving the traffic environment of case would be offered for the safe school trip. Transformation of traffic modes from private motorized modes to green traffic modes in school trip needs green transport friendly city planning.
15. Creating students’ place attachment to university buildings
S. A. Bentinck & C. J. van Oel
Relocation of university departments require students and staff developing new emotional bonds with a place. Place attachment is manifested through affective, cognitive and behavioural psychological processes, and influenced by social and physical characteristics of places. This study addresses the importance of physical place characteristics in enhancing place attachment and identity. Before and after relocation we asked students (before/after n=50, 69) and staff (before/after n=10, 34) of the Amsterdam University College (AUC) to rate their appreciation of the social areas in the building. No significant difference in the satisfaction with both buildings was found. Using logistic regression modelling, appreciation of the social areas appeared to depend on how proud they were of the AUC-building, a lack of proud of the University at large, their satisfaction with the canteen and the nearby presence of cafés. Our findings suggest that the AUC-buildings afforded the respondents’ sense of belonging to a community, and in doing so they took the nearby surroundings, but not the city, into account. These findings are at odds with the results of Hernandez et al. (2007), who suggest that students interact with the city more than they do with the neighbourhood and therefore place attachment develops at the city level.
16. His, Hers or Both? The role of partners’ individual and combined attitudes in explaining household energy use behaviours
S. Yang, M. Shipworth, & G. Huebner
Even though home energy use is the result of actions of all members of a household, most building energy research that does explore the role of attitudes measures just one person’s attitudes. The research reported here explored whether the attitudes of both partners in 128 English couples could explain more of the variability in home heating behaviours than the attitudes of just one partner. Participating couples held moderately similar attitudes towards heating energy use. Their attitudes to being economical with energy were the most similar (r = 0.64), while their attitudes to thermal comfort were the least similar (r = 0.45). Moreover, including both male and female partner attitudes explained heating use behaviours significantly more than the attitudes of a single partner did, increasing the explanatory power of the models roughly four percentage points to 21% (for heating hours) and 25% (for heating hours), over the models with only one partners’ attitudes (plus building and socio-demographics). The results of this study suggest that home energy conservation interventions targeted at both partners might be more successful than those targeted at the male or female partner only; future research could explore this as well as the influence of other household members.
17. Art Festivals and Design Exhibitions as means of affecting people – influencing people’s emotions and attitudes towards climate change
L. K. Sommer, L. Roosen, & C. A. Klöckner
On the one hand Europeans acknowledge the importance of the topic of environmental change and 87 percent of them think that they can contribute in positive changes for the environment (Eurobarometer, 2011). However, this does not seem to translate into action. The CLIMart project aims at bridging the intention-behavior gap by engaging the public in a more affective way – through environmental artistic events. Within the CLIMart project two studies have been conducted in November 2014 and January 2015 in which visitors (n=186) of an environmental design exhibition (n=83) (LEV VEL in Oslo, Norsk Design- og Arkitektursenter) and a climate change related art festival (Klimafestivalen §112) (n=58) responded to questionnaires. Results show that there are significant differences between visitors of the exhibition and a control group (n=45) in their attitudes towards climate change and their estimated importance of the topic. Also, after the design exhibition participants showed a significantly lower consumer efficacy, an increased climate change risk perception and were more agitated than before. After the art festival participants were more unwell and felt more discontent. Generally there is a strong self-selection within the sample, meaning that people going to climate change related events are highly interested in the topic already.
18. Segmentation of consumers in terms of environmental issues
K. P. Horvat
With their increasingly demanding material needs in life and anthropocentric perspective on the world, people are increasingly actively encroaching on the environment and radically transforming it. Their activity is significantly degrading the environment, and so their mentality, awareness, and behaviour are critical factors influencing the creation and alleviation of environmental burdens. Although it seems that people living within a narrow environment have similar lifestyles, people are not a homogenous group with regard to their level of environmental awareness and engaging in environmental behaviour. Their environmental awareness and behaviour is influenced by various social and psychological factors differently. Therefore a more accurate description of the different occurring groups is crucial for positioning them accordingly and for implementing methods for social influencing. The participants were grouped together according to their characteristics using the K – means method, which places those individuals within a group who are similar to each other according to the studied factors, while the groups themselves are as varied as possible. They were divided into five groups: 1) »in word only«, encompassing nearly one-third of the participants (28.7%), 2) »active«, including one-fifth (20.7%), 3) »thrifty«, encompassing one-fifth (20.7%), 4) »passive«, including one-fifth (19.2%), and 5) »indifferent«, encompassing 11.4%.
19. Effects of dynamic street lighting on walking speed and reading performance: A full-scale laboratory study
E. Pedersen & M. Johansson
Dynamic lighting systems are introduced in urban outdoor environments with the objective to reduce energy use. Effects on pedestrians are not fully known. Previous studies have mainly used observer assessment (Viliunas et al., 2014), and focused on perceived personal safety (Haans & de Kort, 2012) or acceptance (Boomsma & Steg, 2013). In this study, performance (walking speed and reading) was assessed in a full-scale laboratory arranged as an outdoor environment with a 19m pathway and a luminaire (LED). A movement detector was placed 10m before the luminaire. Participants (N = 61) walked the pathway at slower speed if the lighting was dimed, although light levels increased to 100% when they passed the sensor, than if the light level was held constant at 100% (F(4, 212) = 6.67, p<0.001, ω2 = 0.01). Consistently, the visibility was rated lower in the dimed than in the constant condition (F(4, 240) = 2.53, p<0.05, ω2 = 0.01). Reading performance decreased with increased dimming (F(2, 120) = 33.89, p<0.001, ω2 = 0.08), but was not influenced by previous diming in the 100% condition. The results imply that the effect on pedestrians’ performance should be weighed against energy usage in the introduction of dynamic outdoor lighting.
20. Ecovillage: A model of the emerging relationship between society and nature
Using the social representations approach, the contribution will be looking at ecovillages as communities actively practicing sustainable living and demonstrating society’s new relationship with nature (Moscovici, 1974). In this possible new relationship with nature, which has been seeping into mainstream culture since the early 70’s, spirituality seems to play an interesting role. Indeed, the psychological construct of spirituality, as one’s striving for an experience of connection with what is within and outside oneself, includes feelings of connectedness with nature (de Jager Meezenbroek et al., 2012). In order to see how connectedness with nature and pro-environmental behaviour interact and how their relation could be more efficiently utilized in practice, an exploratory ethnographic study of 2 ecovillages (Damanhur in Italy and Braziers Park in England) has been performed. A multi-method approach was used, comprising questionnaires, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews within the two communities. Preliminary results show that feelings of connectedness with nature present a more emotional dimension in the representation of nature-society relationship. Incorporating spirituality extends the current cognitive and normative explanations of pro-environmental behaviour. In this study ecovillages were considered vanguards, nevertheless this approach can provide insights into a more effective transition towards sustainability of the society in general.
21. How does opencast lignite mining influence subjective well-being of nearby inhabitants?
M. Riemenschneider & E. Dütschke
Relatively little research has dealt with psychological effects of opencast lignite mining on inhabitants of mining areas. While some researchers have examined e.g. the effects of relocation or the influence on socio-economic development hardly any research so far analyses the impact on people living nearby. This contribution addresses this issue by looking into measures of subjective well-being (SWB) (Frank, 2010) and the applicability of the concept of solastalgia (Albrecht, 2005). Solastalgia “refers to the specific distress caused by the negatively perceived transformation of one’s home and sense of belonging” (Connor et al., 2004, p. 55). Eight individuals from the German Lausitzer Braunkohlerevier in Brandenburg were interviewed following a semi-structured guideline. The interviews were then analysed software-based applying Qualitative Content Analysis as defined by Mayring & Fenzl (2013). Results support regular impact on daily life and SWB. Furthermore the solastalgia concept turned out to be helpful in describing the specific effects of the opencast lignite mining. Overall the study leads to the conclusion that this subject needs further research, also in order to make effects more measureable in a way that they can be considered during official planning and permitting procedures for mining which is so far not the case.
22. How do project developers deal with social acceptance for wind energy? A cross-European comparison
E. Dütschke & J. P. Wesche
Even though the general acceptance of wind energy is comparatively high conflicts around planned wind farms are not rare in Europe. Implementing public participation and engagement strategies into project management is often seen as a promising strategy to avoid and solve those conflicts. This conference contribution analyses in how far such strategies are applied in Europe. The analysis is based on questionnaire data from an expert panel (n=207) from 13 European countries including representatives concerned with wind energy from administrative bodies, project developers, financial institutions, cooperatives and environmental organizations. Findings on applied strategies are compared to recommendations from academic research. Results point out that some kind of public participation measures are used for most projects. These are dominated by informational measures, i.e. providing information to the public and stakeholders, across the life time of a wind turbine. Consultation measures, i.e. collecting feedback from the public, are mostly used in early project phases and are also relatively wide-spread. Measures of empowerment where the public has the possibility to influence actual decision making are rarely applied. Furthermore, guidelines published by expert and academic institutions are hardly used, indicating that actual practices mainly develop independent of this growing body of knowledge.
23. Individuals with high working memory capacity are less susceptible to mind-wandering: Evidence from cross-modal oddball tasks
R. Ljung & A. Nöstl
Mind-wandering is a common phenomenon and is likely to happen when people perform some routine task where the consequences thereof are of little to no importance. However, when mind-wandering occurs during an effortful task, such as an attention heavy task, it can have dire consequences and may result in poor performance. Working memory capacity holds some predictive value for executive functions and a vast amount of studies show that individuals with high working memory are more resilient to external distraction than their low-capacity counterparts. By analyzing the correlation between WMC and the standard deviations during three different cross-modal oddball experiments, the current study shows that individuals with low WMC display higher variation in their response times than individuals with high WMC. As all external stimulus is held constant during the task the found difference in variation may be interpreted as susceptibility to mind-wandering. That is, WMC does not only predict resilience towards external stimuli but also towards internal stimuli. Interestingly however, this link is only apparent when the standard sound is held constant as opposed to changing with each occurrence.
24. Personality, Political Orientation, and the Perceived Importance of Environment and Nature Conservation in Politics
S. A. Klein & B. E. Hilbig
Empirical studies have repeatedly identified relations between personality traits, political orientation, and environmental attitudes and behavior. However, the findings on the exact pattern of relations between these constructs remain inconsistent. In this study, participants (N = 826) completed the HEXACO personality inventory and indicated their political orientation. Then, participants completed both a two-alternative forced-choice comparison and a ranking task with the German Federal Ministries as elements. In doing so, participants judged the importance of the Federal Ministry for Environment and Nature Conservation in relation to the other Federal Ministries. These two importance ratings were highly related, but not perfectly consistent. Both ratings were related to personality traits and political orientation in line with previous findings, but differed slightly in pattern and strength of relationships. Specifically, for both ratings, Extraversion and Openness consistently explained variance in perceived importance over and above political orientation and socio-demographics. These results imply that a successful policy communication with the aim to enhance pro-environmentalism should not only fit the recipients' political orientation, but also basic personality traits. Furthermore, the presentation mode of policies should be chosen carefully according to the purpose of communication as this can make a difference in the subjective importance of specific policies.
25. Towards and integrated tailored food policy: Consumer-level mitigation using a hybrid analysis of meat choice and behavioural change
S. Prugsamatz Ofstad, A. Nguyen, J. Dikgang, & A. Musandiwa
Our contemporary production and consumption of food have been linked to destructive, environmental impacts. Research targeting behavior change such as people’s choices in food content and quantity can significantly reduce these environmental consequences especially if integrated into policy development. A pilot study was conducted in Norway (N=200) and South Africa (N= 195) which tested a three step interdisciplinary approach combining both psychological and economic factors. Step 1: The application of Klöckner and Blöbaum’s (2010) “comprehensive action determination model” (CADM) to identify and filter information pertaining to individual’s intentions and perceived behavioral control. Step 2: The application of the utility value economic psychological model where economic principles are used to determine different sources of motivation. Step 3: Involved the implementation of choice experiments to test policies encouraging sustainable meat consumption. The results support the application of a hybrid psychological and economic model to filter and understand the relevant factors driving change in meat consumption within five utility values : hedonic, health, social, moral and habit. Results from both countries show individuals as rational-bound, emotional, social and moral beings with limited capacity for self-control and subject to habitual behaviors. Findings also reveal cross cultural differences for both the psychological and economic factors.
26. Exploring Individual Decision Making Processes and the Role of Information Provision in Promoting Uptake of Energy Efficient Technologies
R. Hafner, D. Read, & D. Elmes
Increasing uptake of energy efficient technologies is a key challenge for environmental psychologists. It is vital that we strengthen understanding of individual decision making processes if we are to have any hope of changing the collective behaviour of society, and maximise potential benefits from new technologies. Researchers in the interdisciplinary centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy, are currently developing energy efficient heating systems for homes and businesses, with the aim of providing substantial reductions in CO2 emissions within this domain. The current study aimed to provide insight into consumer behaviour with the aim of supporting the integration of such products into the market place. Specifically we explored the role of information provision in guiding choice within home heating: applying the alignable (A)/non-alignable (NA) features effect to a choice between either boiler/boiler, or boiler/heat pump. We find that the effect generalises outside of the typically researched domain of consumable goods, and that choice can be guided in desired directions according to structure of information provision. Specifically, when faced with a choice of differing products (boiler/heat pump), people preferred options with stronger NA features. Applied implications e.g. for emphasising NA features when marketing energy efficient technologies are discussed.
27. Gratitude toward nature: A positive emotion that motivates pro-environmental behaviour
Past research on the role of emotions in motivating environmentally responsible or pro-environmental behavior often focused on negative emotions such as fear toward the threat of environmental problems, indignation over others’ inaction or indifference, and guilt for one’s own contribution to environmental degradation. Based on recent findings that people might consider nature as a mindful agent (i.e., mind attribution) or a human (i.e., anthropomorphism), the present research examines the role of a positive interpersonal emotion: gratitude. In a series of studies, it was found that individuals vary in their chronic, spontaneous tendency to feel grateful for the benefits and services they receive from nature, and those with stronger gratitude exhibited more pro-environmental behavior. In two experiments, it was further found that this emotion can be situationally induced. Individuals who were explicitly instructed to write about their gratitude toward nature, compared to those wrote about gratitude toward other people or merely recounted some natural benefits, subsequently reported a stronger intention to perform pro-environmental behavior. Taken together, these findings signify the importance of positive emotions in understanding pro-environmental behavior, and suggest the theoretical possibility of understanding the human-nature relationship through the lens of social psychological theories on interpersonal relationships.
28. Eliciting proenvironmental behaviour in the residential sector without financial incentives: A field experimental approach
E. Lede & M. J.J Handgraaf
While decision makers often overlook non-financial incentives designed to elicit proenvironmental behavior, they may not only be more effective than financial incentives but may also promote a more sustained change in behavior. A 2 x 2 quasi-experimental field study (n = 88) in a student residence in the Netherlands examined the effect of commitment (signing a commitment or not signing a commitment) and offering a non-contingent gift (a personalized gift or a gift to a charity on the individual’s behalf) on self-reported water consumption in the shower/bath as well as related residential behaviours, environmental norms, preferences, and beliefs. Significant interactions reveal that two of the conditions successfully influenced the targeted behavior: both a gift to self in conjunction with signing a commitment and a gift to charity without a commitment decreased water consumption. In addition, we found evidence for spillover to other related residential behaviors and intentions and a positive shift in environmental norms, preferences, and belief in climate change in the gift to charity (no commitment) condition. Thus, non-financial approaches are a promising approach, although the underlying mechanisms of interventions must first be understood to achieve a desired outcome.
29. Social Rooms: The Combined Effects of Light and Temperature on Team Performance
A. Steidle & Gockel, C.
Ambient conditions, like other context factors, should fundamentally influence social perception and behavior by evoking bodily and perceptual experiences that signal social distance or proximity and can trigger compensatory behavior. However, only few studies have investigated these effects. Consequently, the current study tested the effects of the two ambient conditions light color and room temperature on social experiences and team performance. Based on first hints indicating that cold temperatures promote strivings for social proximity, we expected that people sitting in a cool room would be particularly motivated to get into contact with other individuals and, hence, perform better on team tasks which require cooperation. 80 teams of at least three individuals worked for 2.5 h in one of four ambient conditions differing in color temperature (cool vs. warm lux) and room temperature (20 vs. 26° C). During the session, participants assessed their current social motivation (e.g., hope for affiliation) and executed four different team performance tasks (e.g., creativity, construction). The study is currently conducted. The results will be presented and discussed with regard to the implications for embodiment and lighting research as well as for the design and architecture of social places.
30. Self-efficacy scale on electricity saving in households
B. Mack, K. Tampe-Mai, J. Kouros, & S. Becker
Reducing one’s electricity consumption involves a multitude of behaviours. An individual may feel more or less competent depending on the objective and the obstacles encountered. The belief in one’s capability to attain a given objective has been called self-efficacy by Bandura. Here we present a self-efficacy scale for electricity saving. Following Bandura, our scale was constructed to assess the multifaceted operation of efficacy beliefs in the electricity domain. 23 items (response scale: 1-10) were selected to cover curtailment behaviour (habits, one-time actions), purchasing behaviour, and information gathering in households. 107 residents of a neighborhood were studied. Because of missing data only 89 participants and 18 items were included in the analysis. Mean item difficulty was 7.4 (SD=2.33). Cronbach’s alpha was 0.90. A PCA with varimax rotation yielded four factors that accounted for 65% of the total variance: one-time information gathering and action implementation, switching-off habits, curtailed washing, and efficiency-oriented purchasing. There is a rough correspondence between the hypotheses and the factor structure obtained. The emergence of washing as a separate factor may be the result of a certain measure of role differentiation in that domain. The factors will be used as predictors of saving behaviour in an ongoing intervention study.
31. Community gardening – a movement between social effects and research pressure
Urban gardens became a daily picture in almost every large city. Berlin, Germany, counted 99 community gardens in 2012. Besides gardening and social interaction, they provide a popular field for researchers. Especially students search for social, sustainable, nutrition and restorative effects in their theses. However, the trans-disciplinary approach of knowledge transfer to the gardening projects lacks in most cases. Thus, a local research colloquium was initiated to support researchers with literature on the one hand and gardeners with feedback on their work on the other hand. The current study addresses two research questions: 1. How can results provide a research base for researchers? 2. How can a transfer of results to the projects be assured? A two-step literature review serves the analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles and local theses on urban community gardens in Berlin. Results show a high diversity of disciplines with various theoretical and methodological approaches. Most studies address competencies achieved in gardens, such as social and political competencies, followed by gardening skills and education. Facing dissemination of results, texts are the most popular output, while some studies present other outputs such as maps or games, which provide a strong base to interact between gardeners, administration and research.
32. Frugal behaviour as voluntary consumption restriction and resourceful use of resources
G. Muiños, E. Suárez, S. Hess, & B. Hernández
This study analyses the relationship between psychological wellbeing and frugality, evaluated as both behaviour geared towards the voluntary restriction of consumption and the resourceful use of available resources. An analysis of structural equations was carried out using a moderated mediation model on a sample of 1113 people. The main finding was the predictive capacity of frugal behaviour to explain the level of wellbeing. A mediation effect was proposed where the voluntary restriction of consumption drives the resourceful use of those resources already available, which in turn significantly predicts the level of wellbeing. The income level was included as an indicator of a people’s capacity to self-determine the restriction of their consumption. The moderating role played by the income level on the relationship between frugal factors and wellbeing was verified, indicating that whenever it is possible for the person to choose simplifier behaviours it is psychologically positive. It is concluded that frugality is a positive element of sustainable behaviour that offers a complementary alternative from the perspective of downscaling in contrast to ecological models more centred on efficiency.
33. A Happy Place To Work
Considering the connections between healthcare costs, lifestyle-related diseases, and a work-life dis-balance, this study aims to show how interior design can contribute to solve urgent social and economic issues. The Healing Offices is an evidence-based design concept that focusses on the stimulation of long-term behavioral changes of office employees towards a healthier lifestyle. As health is strongly correlated with happiness, design qualities have been elaborated, that are expected to especially trigger a positive affect by initiating feelings of autonomy, connectedness and ownership. By furthermore facilitating healthy eating habits, physical activity, contact with nature and sustainable behavior, the design concept is anticipated to eventually reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. A (before-after) post-occupancy-evaluation will yield data about the impact of the design qualities and to what extent their translation into actual design features is effective. The quality of the environment, being the independent variable, is operationalized by an objective environmental analysis and a psychological evaluation of the workspace. The dependent variables, being satisfaction with the work-environment, happiness, health/lifestyle and productivity, are assessed with an online questionnaire, observation, interviews, objective health-related data and company-specific information. The presentation will focus on illustrating the concept, introducing the research method and showing first results.
34. Biological diversity’s and spaciousness’ effects on attentional performance
T. Gerstenberg & M. Hofmann
54 % of the world’s population living in urban areas and continuing urbanisation require strategies to improve residential lives. There is expanding empirical evidence that urban green spaces deliver measurable benefits to people. With species richness nature’s positive effects on psychological well-being increases: Research has shown that a less diverse biotope was physiologically less stimulating compared to more diverse biotopes. Similarly, studies found a higher preference for spacious natural scenes compared to those with restricted spaciousness. However, there is little knowledge on the effect of biological diversity and spaciousness on attentional performance. We experimentally tested hypotheses that viewing more biologically diverse and/or more spacious landscapes would lead to a greater improvement in attentional performance. Subjects completed the FAIR-2 attention test before and after viewing one of several images differing in biodiversity and spaciousness. All subjects improved significantly in all parameters of the attention test. Neither biodiversity nor spaciousness had a significant main effect on overall attention test performance. For attentional precision a significant interaction effect of biodiversity and spaciousness was found. Findings correspond to attention restoration theory and, if applied to urban planning, they may contribute to residential well-being.
35. Commitment through consumer monitors in promoting the reuse of clothes: Environmental education in collaboration with environmental NPO
H. Maeda & Y. Hirose
We examined the effectiveness of environmental education programmes in the reuse of clothes; specifically, in the donation of unnecessary clothes and purchase of used clothes. The programme was conducted in 2012 in collaboration with an environmental NPO in Nagoya. We provided information to consumer monitors about the reuse system managed by the NPO and asked them to discuss ideas for resolving factors that prevent people from reusing clothes. The programme was based on the two-phase model of environmentally conscious behaviour (Hirose, 1994). We administered a questionnaire survey three times: T1 (a week before the programme) as a pre-survey; T2 as the first post-survey (promptly after the completion of the programme); and T3 as a second post-survey (one and a half months after the programme). The results were as follows: (1) Half of the participants bought used clothes from thrift shops operated by the NPO after the programme, and their frequency of purchase of used goods increased; (2) half of the participants demonstrated initiative by recommending their family or friends use reuse stations and thrift shops; and (3) the correlation between evaluations of social norms and reuse behaviour increased. The present study suggests that commitment through consumer monitors encourages reuse behaviour.