Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew Grainger,
Dr Gavin Stewart
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
© 2021. Consumer food waste, like many environmental behaviours, takes place in private, and is not directly subject to social monitoring. Nevertheless, social interactions can affect private opinions and behaviours. This paper builds an agent-based model of interactions between consumers heterogeneous in their sociability, their initial opinions and behaviours related to food waste, and their willingness to consider different opinions, in order to assess how social interactions can affect private behaviours. Compared to existing models of opinion dynamics, we innovate by including a range of “cognitive dissonance” between stated opinions and actual behaviours that consumers are willing to accept before changing one of the two. We calibrate the model using questionnaire data on household food waste in Italy. We find that a limited degree of mixing between different socio-demographic groups, namely adult and young consumers, is enough to trigger change, but a certain openness of mind is required from more wasteful individuals. Equally, a small group of environmentally committed consumers can attract a sizeable share of the population towards low-waste behaviours if they show a certain variability of opinions and are willing to compromise with individuals in their close neighbourhood in terms of opinions. These findings can help design effective interventions to promote pro-environmental behaviours, taking advantage of the beneficial network effects while anticipating negative externalities.
Author(s): Piras S, Righi S, Setti M, Koseoglu N, Grainger MJ, Stewart GB, Vittuari M
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Print publication date: 01/01/2022
Online publication date: 11/10/2021
Acceptance date: 23/09/2021
ISSN (print): 0921-3449
ISSN (electronic): 1879-0658
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric