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Overview of dual process behavioural models and their implications on decision-making of private dwellers regarding deep energy renovation

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Understanding both rational and heuristic thinking is important for explaining proenvironmental behaviour. Theoretical findings regarding dual process models can be useful to explain and influence decisions of private owners in the context of energy renovation. The existing building stock has a big potential in contributing to the reduction of energy consumption. Even though surveys show that dwellers acknowledge the importance of energy efficient buildings and the technologies to achieve nearly zero energy buildings (nZEBs) are accessible, many dwellers prefer minor interventions or the status-quo rather than a deep energy renovation of their dwelling. The present paper will explain the gap between intention and action with the use of dual process models (DPMs), consisting of a rational, central processing of the information (System 2) and a heuristic, peripheral one (System 1). We will focus on the peripheral System 1 that represents the heuristic, intuitive, fast and not so rational thinking that works as a shortcut for the rational processing of information. Dual process behavioural models will be classified according to the triggers of the heuristic shortcuts. An important aspect is the fragile balance between the two systems that is influenced by the need for cognition and need for affect. An overview of behavioural insights in heuristic thinking that might influence decisions regarding house renovation will be presented. The hypothesis verified with the use of a questionnaire is that positive arguments of the house owners in favour to renovate are mostly rational and the negative arguments are mostly heuristic. Based on theoretical and empirical findings on dual process models, implications for policy making and informational campaigns concerning deep energy renovation will be proposed.
Book: WBC16 Proceedings : Volume II Environmental Opportunities and challenges Constructing Commitment and Acknowledging Human Experiences
Pages: 591 - 603
Publication year:2016
Keywords:energy renovation, behavioural change, heuristic thinking, nudges, energy efficiency