Research Data Leeds Repository

Public perceptions of how to reduce carbon footprints of consumer food choices (dataset)

Kause, Astrid and Bruine de Bruin, Wändi and Millward-Hopkins, Joel and Olsson, Henrik (2019) Public perceptions of how to reduce carbon footprints of consumer food choices (dataset). University of Leeds. [Dataset]

Dataset description

Carbon footprints associated with consumer food choices substantially contribute to climate change. Life cycle analyses from climate and environmental sciences have identified effective rules for reducing these food-related carbon footprints, including eating seasonal produce and replacing dairy and red meat with plant-based products. This dataset was obtained in a national UK survey conducted in January 2018, where we explored how many and which rules N = 627 participants generated for reducing carbon footprints of food (Carbon_footprint_recoded_July2019.RData). The sample was recruited via the UK-based survey company ResearchNow and the survey was programmed in the survey software Qualtrics. Participants were randomly allocated to one of the three food groups produce, dairy, and protein-rich products. In an open-ended question, we asked them to first list the characteristics (or ‘rules’) they consider as typical for produce /dairy/ protein products with a low carbon footprint. They were then asked to rate how effective they perceived each of their generated rules to be, on a 1-7-scale. Participants then made numerical estimates of carbon footprint reductions associated with four pre-selected rules in their assigned food group, expressed in either grams or percentages. They were asked how confident they were into each of their estimates, on a 1-7 scale. Subsequently, we measured their pro-environmental worldviews (Dunlap et al., 2000; 15 items), their Climate Change Knowledge (Shi et al. 2015; 30 items), their levels of Numeracy (Cokely et al. 2012; adaptive version), and their willingness to think about complex problems (‘Need for Cognition’; Cacioppo et al. 1984; 18 items. All survey items are described in the Supplemental Materials of Kause, Bruine de Bruin, Millward-Hopkins & Olsson 2019, and in the document Survey_CarbonFootprint_Food.docx). In a set of linear and logistic regression models (AnalysisRQ1a-2_RevisionJune2019.R and README) we found that participants generated few and relatively less effective rules, including ambiguous ones like ‘Buy local’. Furthermore, participants’ numerical estimates of pre-selected rules were less accurate when they assessed carbon footprint reductions in grams rather than in percentages, as compared to estimates we obtained from life cycle analyses from climate and environmental sciences, conducted by other authors from those disciplines (see Supplemental Materials of Kause, Bruine de bruin, Millward-Hopkins & Olsson, 2019). Participants’ responses were inconsistently related to their environmental worldview, climate change knowledge, levels of numeracy and need for cognition.

Keywords: Psychology, decision making, cliamte change
Divisions: Faculty of Business > Management
Related resources:
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Date deposited: 04 Nov 2019 13:01





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