The Psychology of Sustainable Consumption

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


he chapter addresses the value-action gap in individuals’ behaviour towards mitigating climate change through product choices. It explores the differences between peoples’ explicit attitudes, governed by the ‘conscious’ part of the brain and their implicit attitudes governed by the ‘subconscious’ or fast part of the brain. These attitudes might differ because explicit attitudes reflect peoples’ wish to appear in a certain light to others (more caring about the environment) or because when individuals are under time pressure their choices are more likely to be governed by their subconscious brains, and hence by their implicit attitudes. Research presented shows there are significant differences between individuals’ implicit and explicit attitudes towards the environment. When confronted with information about the environment, such as ‘carbon labels’, it is people’s implicit attitudes that explain how much attention people pay to that information, rather than their explicit attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Consumption
EditorsDale Southerton, Alistair Ulph
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780199679355
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2014

Publication series

NameSustainable Consumption


  • value-action gap
  • carbon label
  • implicit attitudes
  • product information


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