How we decide shapes what we choose: decision modes track consumer decisions that help decarbonize electricity generation

Crystal Reeck, Karoline Gamma, Elke U. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

With concerns regarding climate change rising, companies and policy makers seek to understand the precursors to environmentally-friendly consumer choice. Decision modes are the qualitatively different psychological processes employed to arrive at decisions. Across six studies, the present project establishes (a) which decision modes are employed by consumers to decide between electricity plans that differ in environmental impact, and (b) how employed decision modes affect those choices. We demonstrate that consumers are most likely to use Calculation Modes when facing such choices. Importantly, we find that Affect or Role Modes promote more environmentally-friendly choices, while Calculation Modes decrease environmentally-friendly choices. Experimentally promoting use of a Role Mode over a Calculation Mode increases selection of environmentally-friendly alternatives, and the relative degree of employing the Role Mode mediates this effect. Our findings provide insight into how decision mode usage can alter environmental decisions, and suggest mechanisms and tools for marketers and policy makers to influence consumer choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-758
Number of pages28
JournalTheory and Decision
Volume92
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

Keywords

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Decision modes
  • Emotions
  • Environmental decision-making
  • Green consumerism
  • Green marketing and sustainability

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