Project Information

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

Project Information

Project Title
"The power of the neighbourhood: The success and the dispersal of bottom-up initiatives on the energy market"

University of Groningen - Social psychology

PhD Student
DaniŽl Sloot

Prof.dr. Linda Steg (University of Groningen)
dr. Lise Jans (University of Groningen)

1 June 2015 - 1 June 2019

University of Groningen


Local initiatives are receiving increasing attention as potential drivers of sustainable development, particularly in the energy domain. Yet, little research has examined the psychological processes at this community level. This project aims to examine the social psychological factors that predict the evolving, spreading, and long-term success of initiatives within local neighbourhoods. We will investigate the interplay between individual-level and group-level factors related to people’s participation in local bottom-up movements. Thereby, this research will build on environmental psychological theories (e.g. value theory) as well as insights from social identity theory, and research on collective action. The main part of the project will consist of a longitudinal field study to examine local initiatives in the domain of household energy consumption. This research will be extended in an attempt to generalise the findings to other domains of local initiative, unrelated to energy consumption. Moreover, we will conduct lab studies to study causal processes. We aim to answer the question why some people participate in an initiative while others do not, and whether this participation indeed leads to a change in behaviour and attitudes.

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