Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour: A Qualitative Cognitive Approach

Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour: A Qualitative Cognitive Approach

Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour: A Qualitative Cognitive Approach

Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour: A Qualitative Cognitive Approach

Excerpt

This book is about knowledge and how we acquire and use it in daily life. It develops its arguments for green consumer behaviour. But this does not mean that other behaviours could not be explained through the insights and conclusions generated here.

In 1969, a global audience was watching live on TV man’s first landing on the moon. When the Apollo space capsule with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on board detached from the mother spaceship and started its descent to the lunar surface, this was closely monitored by ground control in Houston, Texas. Prior to the space mission, elaborate computer programs had been developed that allowed the ground control scientists to monitor closely the space mission of Apollo 11. Brilliant computer and astrophysical scientists had been recruited for that task. Much ‘theoretical science’ had been put into monitoring programs. An elaborate system of alarms had been established to warn of any danger to the mission and the astronauts’ lives. Many variables had been covered in these programs; and manuals had been compiled to provide explanatory information on variables and alarm messages.

When Armstrong and Aldrin were approaching the lunar surface, a couple of minutes before touchdown, one of the monitors in their capsule suddenly emitted an alarm warning: ‘Alarm 1201’. Immediate contact was made with ground control in Houston to check whether the mission should be aborted or not. In Houston, neither the guidance officer in charge, a young computer scientist, nor any of his colleagues knew what ‘Alarm 1201’ stood for, and there was no time to consult the manuals that had been compiled. A decision that would possibly affect the lives of the astronauts and the success of the mission had to be taken immediately.

What should the guidance officer decide? How should he solve this problem? What advice should he give to Armstrong and Aldrin? The later chapters of this book explain that the way the problem of ‘Alarm 1201’ was solved does not fundamentally differ from the way green consumers choose products in a supermarket.

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