Research traditions across the social sciences have explored the drivers of individual behavior and proposed different models of decision making. Four diverse perspectives are reviewed here: conventional and behavioral economics, technology adoption theory and attitude-based decision making, social and environmental psychology, and sociology. The individual decision models in these traditions differ axiomatically. Some are founded on informed rationality or psychological variables, and others emphasize physical or contextual factors from individual to social scales. Each perspective suggests particular lessons for designing interventions to change behavior. Throughout the review, these lessons are applied to decisions affecting residential energy use. Examples are drawn from both intuitive and reasoning-based types of decision as well as from a range of decision contexts that include capital investments in weatherization and repetitive behaviors such as appliance use. Areas of difference and similarity between various theoretical approaches and their practical implications are highlighted. Conclusions are drawn on how to develop a more integrated approach to both behavioral research and intervention design in a residential energy context.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error