Although both promoted as sustainable, nuclear and renewable energy elicit different evaluations in people. People expect (whether true or not) different implications for the environment and for consumers' resources from these energy alternatives. But what factors define the perceived importance of these environmental and individual consequences, and will this affect people's attitudes toward energy alternatives? Do these factors also influence perceptions of consequences of energy alternatives? The authors propose that people's biospheric (e.g. valuing nature) and egoistic (e.g. valuing wealth) values affect evaluations of energy alternatives in three important ways. First, as expected, the results showed that the stronger their egoistic values, the more important people find individual consequences of energy alternatives, whereas the stronger their biospheric values, the more important they find environmental consequences. Second, this indeed translated into attitudes: the stronger their egoistic values, the more people favored nuclear energy and the less they favored renewable energy, whereas the opposite was found for biospheric values. Third, values colored the perceptions of consequences. Specifically, whether people ascribed negative or positive consequences to energy alternatives aligned with their value-based attitudes toward these alternatives. The results were robust despite variations in energy alternatives and the methods used. Practical implications are provided. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Status||Published - mei-2015|