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.
Dr Wouter van den Hoogen | alfa
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences