Seminar Series

Psychological barriers to sustainable behaviour: Evidence from travel and energy research

It would clearly be desirable for people to act in more ecologically sustainable ways. However, it is also clear that people tend to be poor at this. For example, a great many short journeys are made by car when active travel would be faster and healthier; home energy saving behaviour is generally poor. This talk explores some of the issues underpinning this. Drawing on research from a range of applications, including travel choices, car purchasing and home energy consumption, we look for common themes, with a particular focus on more subconscious influences on behaviour such as habits and social norms, and how these interact with explicit knowledge to determine behaviour. The talk includes results from a recent field trial that used psychological principles to reduce home gas consumption by 22% and draws together some general lessons on how social psychology might help shape behaviour in the future. Dr Ian Walker FHEA | Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Bath i.walker@bath.ac.uk (academic) | mail@drianwalker.com (other matters) Website: drianwalker.com | Twitter: twitter.com/ianwalker My books: Research Methods and Statistics - a new, clear introduction http://tinyurl.com/res-stats Research with People - the essential research textbook: http://amzn.to/sRbYxy