Explicit and Implicit Attitudes to Low and High Carbon Footprint Products

By Geoffrey Beattie and Laura Sale.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper will outline new research carried out at the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester, England, into how to measure both implicit and explicit attitudes to sustainability. The specific focus of the research are attitudes to the size of carbon footprint associated with a range of consumer products, as measured using explicit measures like the feeling thermometer and a Likert scale and implicit measures like the Implicit Association Test. The research identifies exactly how positively people feel about low carbon footprint products using a range of measures and highlights individuals who appear to be strongly pro-low carbon on the basis of explicit measures but are less positive on the basis of implicit measures, the so-called ‘green fakers’.

Keywords: Implicit Attitudes, Explicit Attitudes, Sustainability, Carbon Footprint, Carbon Labelling

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.191-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.299MB).

Prof. Geoffrey Beattie

Head of School and Professor of Psychology, School of Psychological Sciences and Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, UK

Geoffrey Beattie is Professor of Psychology and Head of the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester. He is also a member of the Sustainable Consumption Institute recently established at the University. He obtained his PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) and he is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS). He was awarded the Spearman Medal by the BPS for “published psychological research of outstanding merit”. In 2005 Geoffrey was President of the Psychology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published 15 books many of which have either won or been short-listed for major international or national prizes and he has published more than a hundred academic articles in journals like Nature, Semiotica, the British Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

Laura Sale

Research Assistant, School of Psychological Sciences, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, UK

Laura Sale is a Research Assistant at the University of Manchester, U.K., working with Professor Geoffrey Beattie on a research project into public perceptions of carbon labelling under the auspices of the Sustainable Consumption Institute, established at the University of Manchester, and sponsored by Tesco.

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