Many of our daily behaviours, e.g., our choice for transportation and our consumption behaviours, need to change in the light of the pressing sustainability issues we are facing. Yet, while many people value the environment, they do not always engage in the behaviours that are in line with these values, representing the so-called ‘value-action gap’. This paper argues that the value-action gap can to a large extent be explained by a choice architecture which promotes unsustainable behaviours. Therefore, we present a redesign of choice architecture in the context of meat consumption, to stimulate people to act in line with their values. Our experimental study shows that such a redesign leads to a significant increase in sustainable behaviour, without conflicting with people’s values. This opens the discussion on how we design the architecture for such choices and adds granularity to the moral debate about nudging.

Designing for value-behaviour consistency: ethical choice architecture to stimulate sustainable meat purchase

Anna Louisa Peeters, Ellen van der Werff, Nynke Tromp
Cleaner and Responsible Consumption
June 2022

Anna Louisa Peeters, Ellen van der Werff, Nynke Tromp