Understanding individuals reactions to changes in environmental and health information

Public perceptions and concerns about new renewable energy technologies, health and food safety issues, and environmental changes are important as misperceptions or inappropriate concerns can lead to: rejection of beneficial technologies, inappropriate food handling practices, or incorrect food choices. In terms of energy projects, local concerns focus on issues surrounding siting and localized impacts (environmental, economic). General concerns about energy development can be voiced by people as consumers or as citizens. For the both, concerns may be focused on end-product (e.g., consumer: increased prices of electricity; citizen: increased taxes to support energy development subsidy policies) and process-related (e.g., visual dis-amenities of land based wind; navigation restrictions due to tidal energy installations) attributes. Concerns about food safety or the healthiness of foods can be framed similarly. For the food consumer, is the product safe to eat? Is the production process safe for the environment? What is the carbon footprint of the production process? For the citizen, are food safety policies adequate to protect everyone? Are they cost-effective? No matter the concern, policymakers and other stakeholders would benefit from a better understanding of the nature of, and the factors that influence, these concerns as this understanding allows for better design of policies, and information and engagement strategies. This research aims to answer some basic and applied questions from an interdisciplinary understanding of the processes that influence people’s attitudes, perceptions and willingness to support products, programs, policies and public and private behaviors.

Investigators: Teisl, M.; Noblet, C.; Cheng, H.

Unit: School of Economics

Termination Date: 30-Sep-18