The role of emotions in the use of social media to encourage sustainable behaviour

Emotions can be generated and can activate unselfishly and pro-social behaviour. Whether effective emotions can be generated by ‘informational governance’ to ensure that information will be accepted and sustainable behaviour is encouraged, is unknown.


Social media is a relatively new source of information for consumers and citizen. The social aspects of this new form of information provision are an important feature. For example, this medium can generate interaction with the sender of information but also between receivers. Earlier research shows that social norms have a strong impact on sustainable and healthy choices of consumers. This indicates that social aspects of social media could be effective in generating emotions that encourage sustainable behaviour .
The government would like to keep up with the new information era. They are looking for ways to effectively approach consumers and citizen and thus encourage sustainable consumer behaviour. In addition, sustainable production is more and more becoming a responsibility of the industry, so for example the retail- and food industry are getting a more prominent role. The aim of this project is to find out how social media and emotions can be used to encourage sustainable behaviour through ‘informational governance’.