Modelling consumer behaviour

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Human existence cannot be separated from the natural environment humans live in. People are constantly interacting with their environment to maintain and improve their living conditions. This interaction with natural systems supports the existence and viability of societies and cultures. However, often people consume natural resources at a rate that endangers their existence and viability on the long run. Whereas this led to societies collapsing in the past (e.g., Ponting, 1993), during the last decades awareness has grown that the environmental impacts of our current socio-economic system not only affect the regional or national level, but also affect the world as a whole. These global changes, such as global warming, the thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer and large-scale deforestation, seriously jeopardise basic existential conditions. The critical question in understanding environmental problems is why many people so frequently over-exploit and damage natural resources, thereby endangering their own (future) living conditions, whereas other people use the same type of natural resources with moderation to preserve them. The commons dilemma is excellently suited for studying the behavioural factors and processes that determine when and why people tend to overexploit common resources, or exploit them in a sustainable manner. This monograph is aimed at presenting an integrative perspective on these factors and processes. To do so, we developed a multitheoretical meta-model of behaviour. This meta-model will be formalised in a computer simulation model, which provides a tool to study processes of resource use and consumption.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Vlek, C.A.J., Supervisor, External person
Award date15-Jun-2000
Print ISBNs90-76269-17-3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Proefschriften (vorm)
  • Simulatiemodellen
  • Modellen
  • Natuurlijke hulpbronnen
  • Consumentengedrag
  • 77.91

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