Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Context Affects Opinion About Novel Energy Sources

Date:
July 26, 2007
Source:
Eindhoven University of Technology
Summary:
People frequently form opinions about new technologies, such as novel energy options, despite having a very limited knowledge of the subject concerned. Opinions people have about innovations are influenced by the context in which they form their opinion. For example, opinions about a novel energy source like biomass are influenced by thoughts regarding other energy sources. The less knowledge, interest or time people have, the stronger this effect.

Opinions people have about innovations are influenced by the context in which they form their opinion. For example, opinions about a novel energy source like biomass are influenced by thoughts regarding other energy sources. The less knowledge, interest or time people have, the stronger this effect. Sustainable energy options must therefore be promoted in the right context says Dutch researcher Wouter van den Hoogen.

People frequently form opinions about new technologies, such as novel energy options, despite having a very limited knowledge of the subject concerned. The subject is often complex and people are either not particularly interested or have limited time. Wouter van den Hoogen’s research indicates that the opinions people form about various energy sources are related to each other.

The researcher argues that an integrated communication strategy should be used for the acceptance of each type of sustainable energy source introduced to the Dutch market. Promoting one specific energy source can adversely affect the acceptance of other new energy sources.

In seven experiments Van den Hoogen examined the boundary conditions within which so-called 'context effects' can occur. A context effect occurs if a person’s opinion about new technologies depends on subtle differences in the context in which the technology is introduced. The theme of these experiments was energy from biomass.

It appeared that people were only sensitive for subtle differences in context if they had a weak basic attitude towards the subject. When people had a weak opinion, and another energy source was casually mentioned just before the assessment of biomass, then their opinion about the use of biomass was assimilated to the use of the other energy source.

Biomass was assessed more positively if sunlight was mentioned in this context, compared to when coal was mentioned. This is because people use the information in context, as an interpretation framework for assessing the unknown item. Still, this assimilation effect did not always occur in the experiments. Sometimes a comparison with the context led to a contrast effect: in this case, biomass was valued more highly if it was compared to coal and valued less if compared to solar energy. Although the assimilation effects also occurred when people were hindered from thinking, contrast effects required mental effort.

The doctoral research is part of the programme 'Biomass as a sustainable energy source: environmental load, cost-effectiveness and public acceptance' financed by the NWO/SenterNovem Stimulation programme Energy research. The aim of the programme is to develop knowledge in the natural sciences and humanities for the transition to sustainable energy supplies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Eindhoven University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Eindhoven University of Technology. "Context Affects Opinion About Novel Energy Sources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722225949.htm>.
Eindhoven University of Technology. (2007, July 26). Context Affects Opinion About Novel Energy Sources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722225949.htm
Eindhoven University of Technology. "Context Affects Opinion About Novel Energy Sources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722225949.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins