Project Information

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Project Information

Project Title
"The effects of values and trust on acceptability of energy organisations' activities"

University of Groningen - Social Psychology

PhD Student
Elisabeth Hoekstra

Prof.dr. Linda Steg (University of Groningen)
Dr. Goda Perlaviciute (University of Groningen)

1 March 2013 - 30 April 2017

External sources


Acceptability of activities of energy companies depends on the level of trust in these organisations (e.g. Huijts, Molin, & Steg, 2012). We conceptualise trust as the perceived integrity of the organisation, that is, how trustworthy, open, and honest an organisation is perceived to be. It has been argued that trust is related to three factors: past behaviour of the organisation, perceived competences of the organisation, and perceived value similarity between an organisation and oneself (Siegrist, Cvetkovich, & Roth, 2000; Siegrist, Earle, & Gutscher, 2003). As yet it is not clear how these different factors and trust are causally related, and which of these factors are of key importance for overall trust in organisations and public acceptability of organisations’ activities. We hypothesize that past behaviour, perceived competences, and perceived value similarity affect trust in organisations, and that trust in turn predicts public acceptability of organisations’ activities. We will study how and under which conditions trust influences public acceptability. We propose that trust will particularly affect public acceptability when the relevant activities of the organisations have significant implications for a person’s important values. We will conduct correlational as well as experimental studies to test our theoretical model.

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