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Energy consumption behaviour: rational or habitual?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi, Jenny Crawford


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Reducing energy demand is not simply about developing energy efficiency measures and technologies, but also changing behaviour and everyday practices. Although the over-emphasis on individual behaviour as the main driver of transition to low-carbon societies may be contested on the grounds that it distracts attention from the wider structural, economic and political factors, it is widely acknowledged that pro-environmental behaviours play an important part in such a transition. But, what constitutes such behaviour? Why do people behave in the way they do? What motivates them to change their behaviour? What are the key factors in behaviour formation and change? This paper aims to address these questions by drawing on three dominant perspectives on environmental behaviour and its drivers: the rational economic, the psychological and the sociological perspectives. The aim is to provide a conceptual understanding of behaviour, illustrated with example from energy consumption.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S, Dilley L, Crawford J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: disP

Year: 2014

Volume: 50

Issue: 3

Pages: 11-19

Online publication date: 24/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0251-3625

ISSN (electronic): 2166-8604

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2014.979039


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