This research demonstrates how promoting the environment can negatively affect adoption of energy efficiency in the United States because of the political polarization surrounding environmental issues. Study 1 demonstrated that more politically conservative individuals were less in favor of investment in energy-efficient technology than were those who were more politically liberal. This finding was driven primarily by the lessened psychological value that more conservative individuals placed on reducing carbon emissions. Study 2 showed that this difference has consequences: In a real-choice context, more conservative individuals were less likely to purchase a more expensive energy-efficient light bulb when it was labeled with an environmental message than when it was unlabeled. These results highlight the importance of taking into account psychological value-based considerations in the individual adoption of energy-efficient technology in the United States and beyond.I'm disturbed, but not particularly surprised, to learn that ideology can lead so-called "Conservatives" to waste resources simply in order to declare their opposition to policies they (wrongly, in this case) consider to be "Liberal."
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Ideology Matters for Energy Conservation
In a new article appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (here), Dena M. Gromet, Howard Kunreuther, and Richard P. Larrick report on a very interesting, but also troubling, empirical finding that conservatives are actually less likely to buy energy-saving lightbulbs if they are marketed as environmentally friendly. Here is the abstract:
Posted by Daniel H. Cole at 1:46 PM