A More Holistic Approach to Behaviour Change
Individual behaviours matter, but many early campaigns on energy and climate change trivialised the challenge by focusing on ‘simple and painless’ behaviours that had very little impact in terms of climate change. The principles of ‘social marketing’ and approaches such as the ‘nudge’ technique have grown in popularity. But while they are well suited to piecemeal behavioural changes, for a complex challenge like climate change, they are the wrong tools for the wrong job. To overcome the problem of ‘rebound effects’ and encourage ‘spillover’ between different behaviours, it is crucial to get beyond individual behaviours and engage at the level of values. The fourth principle is moving from ‘nudge’ to ‘think’ as a strategy for public engagement, promoting a sense of climate citizenship rather than following a prescriptive green lifestyle.
KeywordsBehaviours Social marketing Nudge Rebound Spillover Climate citizenship
- Austin, A., Cox, J., Barnett, J., & Thomas, C. (2011). Exploring catalyst behaviours: Full Report. A report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Brook Lyndhurst for Defra, London.Google Scholar
- Corner, A. (2013b). Climate silence (and how to break it). Oxford: Climate Outreach & Information Network.Google Scholar
- Crompton, T. (2010). Common cause: The case for working with our cultural values. UK: WWF.Google Scholar
- Crompton, T., Kasser, T. (2009). Meeting environmental challenges: The role of human identity. Surrey: WWF UK.Google Scholar
- Devine-Wright, P. (2007). Reconsidering public attitudes and public acceptance of renewable energy technologies: A critical review, published by the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester. Available at http://www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/research/beyond_nimbyism/. Accessed 23 June 2016.
- Dobson, A., (2010). Environmental Citizenship and Pro-environmental Behaviour. Rapid Research and Evidence Review. Sustainable Development Research Review: London.Google Scholar
- Hastings, G. (2007). Social marketing: Why should the devil have all the best tunes? Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Henwood, K., Pidgeon, N., Groves, C., Shirani, F., Butler, C., & Parkhill, K. (2015) Energy Biographies Research Report. Available at http://energybiographies.org/our-work/our-findings/reports/. Accessed 19 May 2016.
- Hogg, M., & Shah, H. (2010). The impact of global learning on public attitudes and behaviours towards international development and sustainability. London: Development Education Association.Google Scholar
- Hoppner, C., Whitmarsh, L. (2010). Public and policy expectations regarding public engagement in climate change action. In Whitmarsh, L., O’Neill, S., & Lorenzoni, I. (Eds.), Engaging the public with climate change: Behaviour change and communication. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Involve (2010) Nudge, think or shove? Shifting values and attitudes towards sustainability: A briefing for sustainable development practitioners, November 2010, Available at. http://www.involve.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Nudge-think-or-shove.pdf. Accessed 23 June 2016.
- Land Use Consultants (2011). Climate change conversations. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 492.Google Scholar
- Lazer, W., Kelley, E.J. Eds. (1973). Social marketing: Perspectives and viewpoints. Ontario: Irwin-Dorsey.Google Scholar
- P. John, & G. Stoker, (2010) How experiments can help get Britain to the Big Society. Available at http://www.civicbehaviour.org.uk/documents/findingoffindingsformatted_002.pdf. Accessed 30 May 2016.
- Parkhill, K.A., Demski, C., Butler, C., Spence, A., & Pidgeon, N. (2013). Transforming the UK energy system: Public values, attitudes and acceptability: synthesis report. London: UKERC.Google Scholar
- Rowson, J. (2013). A new agenda on climate change: Facing up to stealth denial and winding down on fossil fuels. London: Royal Society of Arts.Google Scholar
- Rowson, J., & Corner, A. (2015) The seven dimensions of climate change: Introducing a new way to think, talk and act, Available at http://climateoutreach.org/resources/the-seven-dimensions-of-climate-change-introducing-a-new-way-to-talk-think-and-act/. Accessed 19 May 2016.
- Spurling N, McMeekin A, Shove E, Southerton D, & Welch D. (2013). Interventions in practice: re-framing policy approaches to consumer behaviour. Sustainable Practices Research Group.Google Scholar
- Sunstein, C. R. and Thaler, R. H. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Thaler, R. (2015). Misbehaving: The making of behavioural economics. Allen Lane.Google Scholar
- Whitmarsh, L. E., O’Neill, S., Lorenzoni, I. (2011). Engaging the public with climate change. Abingdon: Earthscan.Google Scholar