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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Social Psychology

Governance, Infrastructure, Lifestyle Dynamics and Energy Demand: European post-carbon communities - GILDED

Social Psychology

GILDED aims to identify social, economic, cultural and political changes which could help rural and urban households in Europe consume less energy. While technological innovation can make low-carbon energy sources economically and environmentally viable, their impact in reducing carbon-intensive energy use will depend critically on broad public and political commitment to such a reduction. GILDED will target socio-economic, cultural and political influences on individual and household energy consumption through five regional case studies. Each case study focuses on a medium-sized city along with nearby rural areas. Investigating individuals’ lifestyle choices and their understanding of energy issues will provide insights into patterns of energy-related behaviours characterising emergent lifestyle types, and the particular drivers impacting on consumption decisions. The social, cultural and political contexts in which these behaviours are embedded will be addressed through analysis of the structural factors and actors (from local to EU level), including governance networks, physical environments, and materialized and institutionalized transport and provisioning networks. This combined ‘top down’ and ‘bottom-up’ perspective on household consumption will be utilised to inform the analysis of an energy-reduction initiative or exper

Main project

This project is part of project "Understanding environmental behaviour".

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
  • Ellen van der Werff, Social Psychology
  • Kees Keizer, Social Psychology
  • Linda Steg, Social Psychology
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Institute for Political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology v.v.i. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic


Courses connected to this project
  • Master Environmental Psychology


  • Van der Werff, E., & Steg, L. (2015). One model to predict them all: Predicting energy behaviours with the norm activation model. Energy Research & Social Science, 6, 8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2014.11.002
  • Van der Werff, E., & Steg, L. (2016). The psychology of participation and interest in smart energy systems: Comparing the value-belief-norm theory and the value-identity-personal norm model. Energy Research & Social Science, 22, 107-114. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2016.08.022
  • Van der Werff, E., Steg, L., & Keizer, K.E. (2013). It is a moral issue: The relationship between environmental self-identity, obligation-based intrinsic motivation and pro-environmental behaviour. Global Environmental Change, 23, 1258-1265.
  • Van der Werff, E., Steg, L., & Keizer, K.E. (2013). The value of environmental self-identity: The relationship between biospheric values, environmental self-identity and environmental preferences, intentions and behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 34, 55-63.
  • Van der Werff, E., Steg, L., & Keizer, K. (2014). Follow the signal: When past pro-environmental actions signal who you are. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 273-282. DOI 10.1016/jenvp.2014.07.004
  • Van der Werff, E., Steg, L., & Keizer, K.E. (2014). I am what I am, by looking past the present: The influence of biospheric values and past behaviour on environmental self-identity. Environment and Behavior, 46 (5), 626-657. DOI: 10.1177/0013916512475209.

University's focus areas

  • Energy
  • Sustainable Society
Last modified:29 March 2021 10.17 a.m.
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