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Hankonen N.,University of Helsinki | Hankonen N.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Kinnunen M.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Absetz P.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Trait self-control and social cognitions both predict dietary behaviors, but whether self-control is associated with more beneficial diet-related cognitions, and the effect of self-control on diet mediated by them, has rarely been examined. Purpose: We hypothesized that the effect of self-control on healthy diet is explained by more proximal diet-related social cognitive factors. Methods: Altogether, 854 military conscripts (age M = 20) completed questionnaires on trait self-control and social cognitive factors (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, risk perceptions, intentions and planning) upon entering the service and a food frequency questionnaire after 8 weeks. Results: Trait self-control was associated with more positive cognitions regarding healthy diet. The mediation hypothesis received support for fruit and vegetable but only partially for fast food consumption. Conclusion: Individuals high in trait self-control eat more healthily because they have higher self-efficacy, more positive taste expectations, stronger intentions and more plans, compared to those low in self-control. © 2013 The Society of Behavioral Medicine. Source


Breukers S.C.,Energy Research Center of the Netherlands | Heiskanen E.,Oko Institute E.V. | Brohmann B.,National Consumer Research Center | Mourik R.M.,Energy Research Center of the Netherlands | Feenstra C.F.J.,Energy Research Center of the Netherlands
Energy | Year: 2011

Exchange of experience between researchers and practitioners is important for arriving at new knowledge that is translatable into practice and at the same time endures in science. This notion has been central in CHANGING BEHAVIOUR, a project aimed at a better understanding of why energy demand-side management (DSM) programmes succeed or fail. Generally, there is a growing tradition of evaluation that encompasses the co-construction of programmes, technology and context. Nevertheless, most current research and evaluation in this particular area focuses solely on the influence of programme characteristics while overlooking contextual factors and transdisciplinary integration. This paper presents the outcomes of theoretical and empirical work involving new insights regarding the crucial conditions for successful energy DSM programmes. In addition, we demonstrate the usefulness of an Action Research methodology that aims to explicitly promote social change though transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and practitioners. We conclude that a conceptualisation of energy behavioural change as nested within and interacting with broader social processes differs from existing models that place individual change processes at the centre of attention. The toolbox we developed for and with practitioners (involved in designing and implementing energy demand-side programmes) differs accordingly, among others in that it is context-sensitive. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Heiskanen E.,National Consumer Research Center | Johnson M.,Helsinki Institute for Information Technology | Vadovics E.,Green Dependent Sustainable Solutions Association
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

European energy policy aims to shift the energy market towards an increased focus on energy services based on end-user needs. This requires a close understanding of the role of end-users and their needs and practices. Based on a European project called CHANGING BEHAVIOUR, we examine the interaction between energy users and energy efficiency practitioners. Using previous cases and our own pilots as data, we uncover the main difficulties in understanding and working with energy users. We argue that formal user research and interaction methods are helpful, yet insufficient for project success or even genuine user responsiveness. Additionally, methods and skills are needed for interacting with broader networks of stakeholders in the user context. Moreover, user responsiveness requires informal interaction with energy users, interpersonal skills and human judgement, which are difficult to develop merely by using better methods. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Heiskanen E.,National Consumer Research Center | Lovio R.,Aalto University | Jalas M.,Aalto University
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2011

There are many cost-effective technologies to reduce resource use and carbon dioxide emissions in space heating, yet they are adopted very slowly, and inefficient heating systems persist. In this article, we examine path dependence and path creation in home heating systems. Path dependence refers to the self-sustaining characteristics of existing systems such as the dominant energy system. Path creation is a related concept that highlights entrepreneurship in 'mindfully deviating' from existing paths and creating new ones by engaging various stakeholders and generating momentum. Research on path creation in energy systems has focused on energy production systems, whereas end-use technologies have gained less attention. We explore the role of path creation in end-use technologies through four attempts to change heating systems for detached houses in Finland via the promotion of heat pump technologies. Within the path creation process, we focus on how the initiators of new paths try to counter the forces maintaining the dominant system. In particular, we pay attention to how small organizations make use of co-operation to challenge the existing path. The aim is to identify the conditions for successful path creation by entrepreneurs and energy end-users under adverse conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Saarinen M.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Kurppa S.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Virtanen Y.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Usva K.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2012

The purpose of the project on which this paper is based was to develop a food-related communication tool for sustainable education in the upper levels of Finnish elementary schools. A life cycle assessment (LCA) of a range of lunches was conducted with reference to two impact categories, climate change and eutrophication potential. This paper presents results of the LCA studies. As the principal requirement of food is that it is nutritious, environmental impacts were assessed for complete lunches, which represented home-made portions, ready-to-eat portions and school lunches. Home-made and ready-to-eat lunches followed the lunch plate model, in which half of the plate consists of vegetables, one quarter of protein and one quarter of a starch source. The portion is completed with bread, a fat spread and milk. In addition, the total energy content of the lunches and the amount of energy from fat, protein and carbohydrate was set according to nutritional recommendations. School lunches were based on actual food consumption in one school. Comparisons between mixed, vegetarian and vegan home-made lunches were carried out as well as between home-made and ready-to-eat lunches. School lunches were investigated separately because of different portion sizes. In general, mixed home-made lunches resulted in 2-5 times more potential impact than vegetarian and vegan lunches. In addition to protein source, the choice of salad also made a substantial difference, especially regarding impact on climate. In contrast, the choice of starch was without major implications. Ready-to-eat lunches caused less potential impact than the equivalent home-made lunches more because of raw material choices than energy consumption. School lunches resulted in the least impact. The lunch plate approach is regarded as representing a good foundation for consideration of both the nutritional and the environmental aspects of food choices. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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