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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Responsible decision-making on gas


The use and production of gas is debated. Examples are gas production in Groningen causing earthquakes, gas production activities at vulnerable locations, risks of shale gas productions, dependency of gas imports (e.g., from Russia), and the fossil nature of gas. At the same time, some advocate that gas can play an important role in the sustainable energy transition, particularly through innovations such as biogas and power-to-gas. It is a societal and ethical challenge to determine what role, if any, gas can play in the (future) energy system. For that, it is crucial to understand how the public, authorities and other stakeholders evaluate gas, what concerns they have about gas, and how to adequately address and weigh these concerns in responsible decision-making.

We will study how individual factors (such as values, moral considerations) and institutional factors (such as governance structures, public participation) influence public evaluations of gas. Moreover, we will investigate how decision-making on gas is affected by actors’ perceptions of public evaluation of gas fuels and technologies. Besides, we will analyze key industry and governmental stakeholders’ views on gas, and how these views influence and are influenced (intentionally or not) by public evaluation of gas fuels and technologies.

The proposed project is innovative by taking an interdisciplinary perspective, combining psychology, political science and technology studies, institutional economics, and ethics. We will use a mixed methods approach drawing upon these disciplines to analyze (changes in) public and stakeholder evaluations of gas over time. Our understanding of which key factors influence public evaluations is communicated to relevant stakeholders, thereby enhancing their social awareness, which is essential for responsible decision-making.

Last modified:13 April 2018 10.27 a.m.