Theory of Planned Behavior in Energy Agent-Based Models
- Combines psychological theory and outcomes of a participatory workshop to explore the diffusion of households’ solar panel investment decisions and their regional impacts in terms of CO2 reductions and monetary gains of heterogeneous households.
- Download the Model Open Access Code (+ODD description)
- Read the article in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulations
Using this ABM, we discuss the methodological challenges of formalizing various psychological constructs – so necessary to implement the behaviorally rich representation of people’s decisions, for example when modeling climate change mitigation behavior. We systematically explore the variations in coding one of the most common social science theories, Theory of Planned Behaviour, in a computation code of an ABM and discuss ways forward.
The ABM, which we took as a basis for testing differences in architecture, factors, representations and data, was developed to study the diffusion of renewable energy among households. Namely, it was designed to study aggregated outcomes of individual household decisions regarding solar panels installation in the municipality of Dalfsen, one of the pioneering green municipalities in the Netherlands. In the paper, however, we zoom into the different implementations of concepts from environmental psychology, which often remain vague and qualitative, which causes methodological challenges when translating them into the formal code of a computational model. The ABM was developed within the Honours BSc thesis project of Hannah Mülder.