Consumer Preferences For Sustainable Innovations

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


To tackle societal challenges such as climate change or water and food security, sustainable innovations are pivotal. When proposed or implemented, such innovations (e.g. renewable energy projects) can elicit strong public emotions. Often, these emotions are perceived as irrational by decision makers and are thus not addressed in innovation development and implementation. Yet, we argue that emotions are mostly not irrational but reflect which implications people expect innovations to have for their core values; emotions signal whether people's core values are violated or supported by an innovation. We tested our reasoning in an online experiment with a 2x2 mixed factorial design (N = 100). After measuring value strength, participants were randomly presented with innovation descriptions (microalgae-based foods or nanophotonic light-bulbs) that emphasised either implications supporting or violating biospheric or egoistic values. Subsequently, we measured emotions towards and support of these innovations. In line with our reasoning, innovations with positive implications for people's core values elicited positive emotions and received support, while the opposite was true for innovations with negative implications for one's core values. Our findings emphasize that emotions towards sustainable innovations are critical not only because they can block them. More importantly, emotions provide key information for innovation development and implementation by signalling that people's core values are violated or supported by an innovation. Hence, responsible decision making on innovations should incorporate emotions and the underlying values from the earliest stages on to improve the development and implementation of much needed sustainable innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
EventInternational Congress of Applied Psychology - Palais des congrès, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 26-Jun-201830-Sep-2018
Conference number: 29


ConferenceInternational Congress of Applied Psychology
Abbreviated titleICAP
Internet address

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