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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Organization News PhD Defences BSS

Correlation, causation, and dynamics

Methodological innovations in sustainable energy behaviours research
PhD ceremony:Mr N. (Nitin) Bhushan
When:June 04, 2020
Start:14:30
Supervisors:prof. dr. C.J. (Casper) Albers, prof. dr. E.M. (Linda) Steg
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Correlation, causation, and dynamics

The global consensus today states that climate change is due to human activities. The main driver of anthropogenic climate change is rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Encouraging households to engage in sustainable energy behaviours  would help mitigate climate change. To understand which factors are related to sustainable energy behaviours researchers have employed different methodological approaches and statistical models. Typically, these methodologies can be classified into correlational research which involves exploring relationships, (field) experiments which are better suited to establish causality, and longitudinal designs which examine how relationships between factors and sustainable energy behaviours change over time.

In this thesis, we introduced graphical models and generalised additive models to sustainable energy behaviours research, particularly to answers questions involving exploratory research, causal inference, and capturing differences in dynamic energy use patterns between groups.