Effects of competence- and integrity-based trust on public acceptability of renewable energy projects in China and the Netherlands

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Acceptability of renewable energy projects depends on the trust people have in agents responsible for those projects. Two dimensions of trust are relevant in this respect: competence-based and integrity-based trust. Yet, the unique and interaction effects of these two dimensions of trust on project acceptability are not well understood. We conducted two experimental studies to test these effects in China and the Netherlands. As expected, higher integrity-based trust in responsible agents led to higher project acceptability in both countries. Notably, these effects were independent of the level of competence-based trust. Competence-based trust enhanced project acceptability only in China and only when integrity-based trust was low. Mediation analyses further showed that (part of) the effects of both dimensions of trust on project acceptability could be explained by people's perceptions of how the decisions were made, in both countries. Results suggest that integrity-based trust has a more profound effect on project acceptability.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatusPublished - feb-2020

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