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PhD Award

PhD Award
Added on 18/04/2024

Congratulations to Dimitris Georgantzis Garcia, who had his viva on Tuesday, 16 April and was awarded the PhD subject to revisions. 

Congratulations also to Dimitri’s supervisors, Dr Efi Vasileiou and Dr Eva Kipnis for their great work and support

In his thesis, Dimitris investigated the role of consumer preferences and behaviour in the context of a societal transition toward the Circular Economy (CE). Having first identified sustainable consumer behaviour as one of the micro-bases of the CE, he focused on developing an understanding and uncovering theoretical and methodological solutions to the intentions-behaviour gap (IBG) - the widely reported mismatch between consumers' words and deeds relative to their sustainable behaviours - which significantly limits the utility of extant knowledge currently. A lab experiment rooted in the common pool resource framework, which Dimitris coined 'The Armageddon Game', was designed and conducted in Spain (N=295), enabling the observation of representative behaviour directly, together with the design and measurement of elements of institutional setting. The data were analysed in conjunction with participants' self-reports, using structural equation modelling and linear mixed models, enabling the explicit investigation of the IBG in the lab. Findings suggest that intentions are a significant predictor of SCB only when unambiguously framed, and depending on institutional setting. Psychological factors were significant, but mostly conditional on their interaction with institutional setting, leading to rebound effects that operate psychologically, a finding without precedent which is in line with previously identified behavioural and market mechanisms. Results suggested that the IBG could worsen for female participants, since relative to males, their behaviour was more sustainable only when presented with a particularly disadvantageous context characterised by highly unsustainable behaviours of others, contrary to expectations based on extant research. Overall, Dimitris' thesis argues theoretically and empirically for the importance of framing intentions unambiguously when using self-reports, and for accounting for institutional setting in the investigation of individual behaviour for the CE. In other words, individual responsibility is almost certainly not enough to achieve more sustainable consumption patterns, and can even be counterproductive under certain regulative and normative contexts.

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