Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Developing socially responsible innovations: The role of values and moral emotions


Innovative solutions (e.g. reducing energy and resources use, or addressing climate change) often elicit strong emotional reactions from the general public. Negative emotions can lead to fierce resistance, whereas positive emotions can contribute to a successful introduction of innovations.

Prof. dr. Linda Steg, dr. Nadja Contzen, dr. Goda Perlaviciute and dr. Maddie Judge from the University of Groningen and prof. dr. Sabine Roeser and dr. Steffen Steinert from the Delft University of Technology investigate the role of emotions and the underlying values in public responses to innovations. While emotions are often downplayed as irrational and unpredictable, the research team argues that emotions are an important source of information about people’s underlying values, and should be taken seriously in decision-making. Using an innovative method in which ethical reflection is combined with environmental psychological research, guidelines will be developed for designing socially responsible innovations that are acceptable and justifiable on ethical grounds.

This research project is part of the NWO programme Responsible Innovation. To promote that the knowledge gained is used in practice, the research team closely collaborates with various private partners. Members of the valorisation panel will advise on the generalizability of the research findings across various (cultural) contexts.

The research project started on 1 July 2015 and will continue until end of 2020.

See also: Ethicists will now have a lab as well.

Last modified:04 August 2022 2.52 p.m.