Advertisement

Exploring Rebound Effects from a Psychological Perspective

  • Anja PetersEmail author
  • Elisabeth Dütschke
Chapter

Abstract

The analysis of energy efficiency rebound effects from a psychological perspective has just begun, and empirical studies analysing psychological factors in relation to the rebound effect are still scarce. In this chapter, we first identify possible psychological drivers to explain rebound effects based on psychological action theories. The outlined psychological framework suggests that energy efficiency improvements have different effects on behaviour depending on the interaction of psychological factors such as attitudes, personal and social norms and response efficacy. In a second step, we present results from an empirical study using focus group discussions to explore rebound effects and psychological drivers in the transport and residential sectors. The results are in line with the outlined psychological framework and indicate that need satiation, habits and mistaken beliefs about the optimal usage of a technology also seem to play a role. Finally, research questions are outlined to help further develop and test hypotheses on the psychological factors influencing rebound effects.

Keywords

Consumer behaviour Theory of planned behaviour Norm activation model Focus groups 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding this research as part of the REBOUND project under project number 01UV1002C and 01UV1002B. We are grateful to Marco Sonnberger and Jürgen Deuschle, who conducted the focus group study together with Anja Peters. For their valuable comments on earlier versions of the manuscript we are grateful to Dr. Marco Sonnberger, Jürgen Deuschle, Prof. Joachim Schleich, Dr. Martin Soland, Dr. Birgit Mack, Hans Marth and three anonymous reviewers.

References

  1. I. Ajzen, The theory of planned behaviour. Organ. Behav. Hum. Decision Process. 50, 179–211 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. I. Ajzen, Martin Fishbein’s legacy: the reasoned action approach. Ann. Am. Acad. Polit. Soc. Sci. 640, 11–27 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. S. Bamberg, G. Möser, Twenty years after Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera: a new meta-analysis of psycho-social determinants of pro-environmental behaviour. J. Environ. Psychol. 27, 14–25 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. A. Bandura, Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychol. Rev. 84, 191–215 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. D.J. Bem, Self-perception theory, in Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 6, ed. by L. Berkowitz (Academic Press, New York, 1972), pp. 1–62Google Scholar
  6. P. de Haan, M.G. Mueller, A. Peters, Does the hybrid Toyota Prius lead to rebound effects? Analysis of size and number of cars previously owned by Swiss Prius buyers. Ecol. Econ. 58, 592–605 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. M. Fishbein, I. Ajzen, Predicting and changing behaviour: The reasoned action approach (Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis), New York, 2010)Google Scholar
  8. R. Galvin, Estimating broad-brush rebound effects for household energy consumption in the EU 28 countries and Norway: some policy implications of Odyssee data. Energy Policy 73, 323–332 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. T. Gärling, S. Fujii, A. Gärling, C. Jakobsson, Moderating effects of social value orientation on determinants of proenvironmental behaviour intentions. J. Environ. Psychol. 23, 1–9 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. B. Girod, P. de Haan, Mental rebound. Rebound Research Report Nr. 3. ETH Zurich, IED-NSSI, report EMDM1522 (2009)Google Scholar
  11. S. Haustein, M. Hunecke, Reduced use of environmentally friendly modes of transportation caused by perceived mobility necessities: an extension of the theory of planned behaviour. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 37, 1856–1883 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. P. Hofstetter, M. Madjar, T. Ozawa, Happiness and sustainable consumption—psychological and physical rebound effects at work in a tool for sustainable design. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 11, 105–115 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. J.R. Hopper, J.M. Nielsen, Recycling as altruistic behaviour. Normative and behavioural strategies to expand participation in a community recycling program. Environ. Behav. 23, 195–220 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. G.M. Huebner, J. Cooper, K. Jones, Domestic energy consumption—what role do comfort, habit, and knowledge about the heating system play? Energy Build. 66, 626–636 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. M. Hunecke, A. Blöbaum, E. Matthies, R. Höger, Responsibility and environment: ecological norm orientation and external factors in the domain of travel mode choice behaviour. Environ. Behav. 33, 830–852 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. F.G. Kaiser, H. Gutscher, The proposition of a general version of the theory of planned behaviour: Predicting ecological behaviour. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 33, 586–603 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. S.P. Kalafatis, M. Pollard, R. East, M.H. Tsogas, Green marketing and Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour: a cross-market examination. J. Consum. Mark. 16, 441–460 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. N.L. Kerr, Efficacy as a causal and moderating variable in social dilemmas, in Social Dilemmas: Theoretical Issues and Research Findings, ed. by W.B.G. Liebrand, D.M. Messick, H.A.M. Wilke (Pergamon, Oxford, 1992), pp. 59–80Google Scholar
  19. S.P. Lam, J.K. Chen, What makes customers bring their bags or buy bags from the shop? A survey of customers at a Taiwan hypermarket. Environ. Behav. 38, 318–322 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. R. Madlener, B. Alcott, Energy rebound and economic growth: a review of the main issues and research needs. Energy 34, 370–376 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. W. Matiaske, R. Menges, M. Spiess, Modifying the rebound: it depends! Explaining mobility behaviour on the basis of the German socio-economic panel. Energy Policy 41, 29–35 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. E. Matthies, Wie können PsychologInnen ihr Wissen besser an die PraktikerIn bringen? Vorschlag eines neuen integrativen Einflussschemas umweltbewussten Alltagshandelns. Umweltpsychologie 9, 62–81 (2005)Google Scholar
  23. N. Mazar, C.-B. Zhong, Do green products make us better people?. Psychol. Sci. 21(4), 494–498 (2010)Google Scholar
  24. D. McKenzie-Mohr, Fostering sustainable behavior: an introduction to community-based social marketing, 3rd edn. (New Society, Gabriola Island, 2011)Google Scholar
  25. A.C. Merritt, D.A. Effron, B. Monin, Moral self-licensing: when being good frees us to be bad. Soc. Pers. Psychol. Compass 4(5), 344–357 (2010)Google Scholar
  26. A. Peters, H. Gutscher, R.W. Scholz, Psychological determinants of fuel consumption of purchased new cars. Transp. Res. Part F: Psychol. Behav. 14, 229–239 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. T. Santarius, Der Rebound-Effekt: ein blinder Fleck der sozial-ökologischen Gesellschaftstransformation (Rebound effects: blind spots in the socio-ecological transition of industrial societies). GAIA Ecol. Perspect. Sci. Soc. 23(2), 109–117 (2014)Google Scholar
  28. S.H. Schwartz, Normative influences on altruism. Advances in experimental social science 10, 221–279 (1977)Google Scholar
  29. S.H. Schwartz, J.A. Howard, Helping and cooperation: a self-based motivational model, in Cooperation and Helping Behaviour: Theories and Research, ed. by V.J. Derlega, J. Grzelak (Academic press, New York, 1982), pp. 327–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. J. Thøgersen, The ethical consumer. Moral norms and packaging choice. J. Consum. Policy 22, 439–460 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. J. Thøgersen, T. Crompton, Simple and painless? The limitations of spillover in environmental campaigning. J. Consum. Policy 32, 141–163 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. J. Thøgersen, F. Ölander, The dynamic interaction of personal norms and environment-friendly buying behavior: a panel study. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 36, 1758–1780 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. M. Tonglet, P.S. Phillips, A.D. Read, Using the theory of planned behaviour to investigate the determinants of recycling behaviour: a case study from Brixworth, UK. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 41, 191–214 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. J.S. Wörsdorfer, Consumer needs and their satiation properties as drivers of the rebound effect. The case of energy-efficient washing machines. Papers on Economics & Evolution, 1016. Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISIKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations