How can the concept of nudging be used to promote sustainable consumer behavior?
: the influence of using dynamic social norms on consumers’ travel behavior and the moderating role of environmental consciousness

  • Moritz Binh Minh Dreßler (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Due to the increasing threats arising from environmental issues, the need for sustainable development is getting more and more important. To encourage sustainable consumer behavior, the concept of nudging has increasingly caught the attention of the scientific community. In contrast to traditional consumer marketing, nudging aims for behavioral changes without providing any financial incentives. Among other aspects, social influence have been found to have a powerful impact on consumers’ behavior.This study examined the impact of a nudge intervention using social dynamic norms on the consumers’ choice for a more sustainable travel option. It further investigated the moderating role of environmental consciousness on this relationship. For this purpose, the author developed a survey experiment featuring a hypothetical case study in which the participants faced a trade off between a sustainable and an unsustainable travel mode (train vs. plane). The final sample counted 133 participants.The results of the study suggest a positive relationship between the nudge intervention and the participants preference for the more sustainable travel mode. Although environmental consciousness had a significant positive effect on the consumers’ preference for the sustainable travel mode, it did not moderate the relationship between the nudge intervention and the choice of travel mode. The findings of this study support previous observations that consumers are subject to social influence. Moreover, the results support the idea that nudge interventions could be an effective tool in lowering the perceived barriers in hindering sustainable consumer behavior.
Date of Award7 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorIshani Aggarwal (Supervisor)


  • Nudging
  • Choice architecture
  • Sustainable consumer behavior
  • Dynamic social norms
  • Social influence
  • Environmental consciousness


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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