Étude SOC2050

Driving Behavioral Change for an Economic Transition towards more Resilience

The SOC2050 study, commissioned by Luxembourg Strategy and conducted by LISER from November 2022 to August 2023, assessed the citizens’ interest in transitioning society and the economy in Luxembourg towards greater resilience and sustainability. This initiative contributes to the United Nations Goal – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12). This study surveyed 912 individuals who participated in a three-wave study over 10 months and who provided rich information about their behaviours and attitudes toward sustainability. 4 domains were selected for their major impact on sustainability and their carbon footprint: meat consumption, mobility patterns, home energy consumption, and the acceptance of financial sacrifices to reduce one’s carbon impact. The survey also collected in each wave participants’ support towards 6 hypothetical policies aimed at regulating or taxing unsustainable behaviours.

The SOC2050 report describes the final results of the longitudinal online survey conducted in 2023. These results contribute to address 2 central questions. The first question explores how sociodemographic factors, constraints, psychological aspects, and social norms influence these behaviours and attitudes toward sustainability. The analysis was further enriched by examining the impacts of personality traits and behavioural biases. The second question examines whether targeted communications can increase the desirability of a sustainable transition. This second question is addressed through a randomised controlled trial in which information treatments are randomly assigned to participants. These treatments provide participants with information about sustainable behaviour and attitudes in society, aiming to correct the widespread underestimation of other people’s efforts, called "pluralistic ignorance".

SOC2050 highlights that pro-environmental behaviour stems from a mix of sociodemographic elements, personality traits, and societal perceptions. Key drivers include higher education, prosocial orientations and self-development. While time and financial constraints matter, easing them doesn’t guarantee sustainable actions and may even have unintended effects. Fear-based messages, highlighting risks and social judgments might also be counterproductive, possibly discouraging engagement or fostering resistance. Instead, strategies emphasising education and the reinforcement of positive social values seem more promising.

Carbon offsetting project

One drawback of surveys is that they are based on individual reports made online, not on actual observations of people's behaviours. To address this potential limitation, in each wave participants were offered the possibility to donate part of their monetary compensation for participating in the study to contribute to a carbon offsetting project (see CO2 certificate). This donation choice went beyond a mere statement as it was eventually executed by the survey platform.



Les opinions exprimées dans cette publication sont celles des auteurs et ne correspondent pas nécessairement à celles du ministère de l'Économie ou du gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

Copyright © 2024, Luxembourg Stratégie


Le rapport SOC2050 peut être reproduit en totalité ou en partie et dans n'importe quelle forme pour un usage professionnel, éducatif ou à but non lucratif sans autorisation particulière de la part du détenteur des droits d'auteurs sous réserve de citer la source.  

Pour plus d'information, veuillez contacter : luxstrategie@eco.etat.lu

Le rapport SOC2050 est à citer comme suit :

Cristelo et al. (2024) Driving Behavioral Change for an Economic and Social Transition towards more Resilience and Sustainability in Luxembourg (SOC2050). Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

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