Good intents but low impacts: Various determinants for different indicators of overall energy use

Moser, Stephanie; Kleinhückelkotten, S.; Neitzke, H.P. (2015). Good intents but low impacts: Various determinants for different indicators of overall energy use. In: 11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology (BCEP 2015). Groningen, Netherlands. 24.08.-26.08.2015.

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Energy consumption in industrialized countries by far exceeds a sustainable level. Previous research on determinants of overall consumption levels has yielded contradictory results as to what the main drivers are. While research on the relationship of environmental concerns and pro-environmental behavior emphasizes the importance of motivational aspects, more impact-oriented research challenges these findings and underlines the impacts of a person’s social standing. The aim of our research was to determine which amount of per-capita energy consumption can be explained by structural, socio-demographic, and pro-environmentally motivational variables. Data come from standardized interviews with a representative sample (N=1014) in Germany. Different indicators of per-capita use were collected and will provide the basis for calculating the overall consumption level. In addition, person variables, lifestyle milieus, self-reported energy use, and motivational variables were assessed. First regression analyses show various patterns of determinants for different indicators of overall energy use. While variance in self-reported use is mainly explained by environmental concern, more impact-oriented indicators, such as the size of personal living space and distances of vacation trips, predominantly correlate with status-relevant predictors. These preliminary results support the suspicion that although environmentally aware people intend to reduce their energy use, they rarely go beyond low-impact actions.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Stephanie


[619] Representative survey of the per-capita consumption of natural resources in Germany




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

28 Sep 2015 12:27

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2020 02:26


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