Are emotions to blame? — The impact of non-analytical information processing on decision-making and implications for fostering sustainability
Policy advice based on a rationalist perspective to foster sustainable behaviour has approached its limits; and gaps in the established models are becoming more and more obvious. To better understand how unsustainable choices are made, and to foster sustainable decision-making, alternatives to the rationalist models of human decision-making need to be investigated. Such alternative models have already demonstrated their usefulness in other fields than ecological economics. The paper begins with a presentation of conventional models of human behaviour, as well as their advances and limitations in ecological and behavioural economics. In most of these models, the dominance of analytical thinking still prevails. I identify this as problematic given the evidence for the influence of emotion and intuition in decision-making. To offer a perspective on human behaviour that acknowledges this influence, dual-process models are presented. Established applications of these models are then used to propose four basic types of explanations for unsustainable behaviour. Based on these explanations preliminary ideas to promote sustainable decision-making are developed. These ideas are considerably different from policy implications of the established economic model.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jager, W. & Janssen, M. A. & De Vries, H. J. M. & De Greef, J. & Vlek, C. A. J., 2000. "Behaviour in commons dilemmas: Homo economicus and Homo psychologicus in an ecological-economic model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 357-379, December.
- Nyborg, Karine, 2000. "Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus: interpretation and aggregation of environmental values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-322, July.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
- Schläpfer, Felix & Schmitt, Marcel & Roschewitz, Anna, 2008.
"Competitive politics, simplified heuristics, and preferences for public goods,"
Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 574-589, April.
- Felix Schlaepfer & Marcel Schmitt & Anna Roschewitz, 2007. "Competitive politics, simplified heuristics, and preferences for public goods," SOI - Working Papers 0712, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
- Arild Vatn, 2004. "Environmental Valuation and Rationality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-18.
- Kaufman, Bruce E., 1999. "Emotional arousal as a source of bounded rationality," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 135-144, February.
- Paul Rozin & Sydney Scott & Megan Dingley & Joanna K. Urbanek & Hong Jiang & Mark Kaltenbach, 2011. "Nudge to nobesity I: Minor changes in accessibility decrease food intake," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(4), pages 323-332, June.
- Reise, Christian & Musshoff, Oliver & Granoszewski, Karol & Spiller, Achim, 2012. "Which factors influence the expansion of bioenergy? An empirical study of the investment behaviours of German farmers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 133-141.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
- Green, Tom L., 2013. "Teaching (un)sustainability? University sustainability commitments and student experiences of introductory economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 135-142.
- Fischer, Anke & Glenk, Klaus, 2011. "One model fits all? -- On the moderating role of emotional engagement and confusion in the elicitation of preferences for climate change adaptation policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1178-1188, April.
- Illge, Lydia & Schwarze, Reimund, 2009. "A matter of opinion--How ecological and neoclassical environmental economists and think about sustainability and economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 594-604, January.
- Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Beyond Homo economicus: evidence from experimental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 311-322, December.
- Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
- Alcott, Blake, 2008. "The sufficiency strategy: Would rich-world frugality lower environmental impact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 770-786, February.
- Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
- W. Michael Hanemann, 1994. "Valuing the Environment through Contingent Valuation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 19-43, Fall.
- Faber, Malte & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2002. "Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus in Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 323-333, March.
- Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J., 2008. "Do emotions matter? Coherent preferences under anchoring and emotional effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 700-711, July.
- Hamilton, Clive, 2002. "Dualism and sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 89-99, August.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Munda, Giuseppe, 2000. "Alternative models of individual behaviour and implications for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 43-61, January.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Fischer, Anke & Hanley, Nick, 2007. "Analysing decision behaviour in stated preference surveys: A consumer psychological approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 303-314, March.
- Frör, Oliver, 2008. "Bounded rationality in contingent valuation: Empirical evidence using cognitive psychology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 570-581, December.
- Norton, Bryan & Costanza, Robert & Bishop, Richard C., 1998. "The evolution of preferences: Why 'sovereign' preferences may not lead to sustainable policies and what to do about it," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 193-211, February.
- MacMillan, Douglas & Hanley, Nick & Lienhoop, Nele, 2006. "Contingent valuation: Environmental polling or preference engine?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 299-307, November.
- Jackson, Tim, 2002. "Evolutionary psychology in ecological economics: consilience, consumption and contentment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 289-303, May.
- Nick Hanley & Jason Shogren, 2005. "Is Cost–Benefit Analysis Anomaly-Proof?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 13-24, 09.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:71-78. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.