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Prof. dr. J.W. (Jan Willem) Bolderdijk

Faculty of Economics and Business
Section Marketing
Photographer: Kirsten van Santen

Visiting address
  • Plantage Muidergracht 12
Postal address
  • Postbus 15953
    1001 NL Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Jan Willem is Professor of Sustainability & Marketing. His research focuses on the question of why good intentions don't always translate into environmentally-sustainable actions. His earlier research showed that social awkwardness could play an important role – many people are motivated to act more sustainably, but they don’t want to be labelled as holier-than-thou. In his more recent research, he explores social tipping points dynamics: how can marketers, consumers and businesses help to make green behaviors more mainstream?

    Inaugural lecture:

    I delivered my inaugural speech "Words speak louder than actions" at the University of Amsterdam on Black Friday, November 24, 2023. Please find the speech in English and Dutch below. 


  • Teaching
  • Publications


    • Hoffmann, T., Ye, M., Zino, L., Cao, M., Rauws, W., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2024). Overcoming inaction: An agent-based modelling study of social interventions that promote systematic pro-environmental change. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 94, Article 102221.
    • Judge, M., Bouman, T., Steg, L., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2024). Accelerating social tipping points in sustainable behaviors: Insights from a dynamic model of moralized social change. One Earth. Advance online publication.
    • Mlakar, Ž., Bolderdijk, J. W., Risselada, H., Fennis, B. M., Ye, M., Zino, L., & Cao, M. (in press). Social Tipping Games: Experimental Paradigms for Studying Consumer Movements. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
    • Prosser, A. M. B., Heung, L. N. M., Blackwood, L., O'Neill, S., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Kurz, T. (2024). Talk amongst yourselves’: designing and evaluating a novel remotely-moderated focus group methodology for exploring group talk. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 21(1), 1-43.
    • Prosser, A., O'Neill , S., Whitmarsh, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., Kurtz, T., & Blackwood, L. (2024). Overcoming (vegan) burnout: Mass-gatherings can provide respite and rekindle shared identity and social action efforts in moralised minority groups. Political Psychology. Advance online publication.
    • Tirion, A. S. C., Mulder, L. B., Kurz, T., Koudenburg, N., Prosser, A. M. B., Bain, P. A., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2024). The sound of silence: The importance of bystander support for confronters in the prevention of norm erosion. British Journal of Social Psychology, 63(2), 909-935.


    • Hoffmann, T., Rauws, W., Sparkman, G., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2023). Norm nudges in neighbourhoods: when do they work and why? In B. Gatersleben, & N. Murtagh (Eds.), Handbook on Pro-Environmental Behaviour Change (pp. 96-113). Edward Elgar Publishing. [details]


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., & Cornelissen, G. (2022). “How do you know someone's vegan?” They won't always tell you. An empirical test of the do-gooder's dilemma. Appetite, 168.
    • Bouwman, E., Bolderdijk, J. W., Onwezen, M., & Taufik, D. (2022). “Do you consider animal welfare to be important?” Activating cognitive dissonance via value activation can promote vegetarian choices. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 83.
    • Brouwer, C., Bolderdijk, J. W., Cornelissen, G., & Kurz, T. (2022). Communication strategies for moral rebels: How to talk about change in order to inspire self-efficacy in others. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Climate Change, 13(5), Article e781. Advance online publication.
    • Flores, E. C., Kelman, I., Joye, Y., Bolderdijk, J. W., Ayeb-Karlsson, S., Wutich, A., Ayalon, L., & Hickman, C. (2022). A healthy planet for a healthy mind. One Earth, 5(4), 307-310.
    • Koch, J. A., Bolderdijk, J. W., & van Ittersum, K. (2022). Can graphic warning labels reduce the consumption of meat? Appetite, 168.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., & Jans, L. (2021). Minority influence in climate change mitigation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 42, 25-30.
    • Koch, J. A., Bolderdijk, J. W., & van Ittersum, K. (2021). No Way, That’s Gross! How Public Exposure Therapy Can Overcome Disgust Preventing Consumer Adoption of Sustainable Food Alternatives. Foods, 10(6).
    • Koch, J., Bolderdijk, J. W., & van Ittersum, K. (2021). Disgusting? No, just deviating from internalized norms. Understanding consumer skepticism toward sustainable food alternatives. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 76.
    • Ye, M., Zino, L., Mlakar, Ž., Bolderdijk, J. W., Risselada, H., Fennis, B. M., & Cao, M. (2021). Collective patterns of social diffusion are shaped by individual inertia and trend-seeking. Nature Communications, 12(1).


    • Bösehans, G., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Wan, J. (2020). Pay more, fly more? Examining the potential guilt-reducing and flight-encouraging effect of an integrated carbon offset. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 71.
    • Joye, Y., Bolderdijk, J. W., Koster, M., & Piff, P. (2020). A diminishment of desire: Exposure to nature relative to urban environments dampens materialism. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 54.
    • Prossner, A. M. B., Judge, M., Bolderdijk, J. W., Blackwood, L., & Kurz, T. (2020). ‘Distancers’ and ‘non-distancers’? The potential social psychological impact of moralizing COVID-19 mitigating practices on sustained behaviour change. British Journal of Social Psychology, 59(3), 653-662.
    • Venhoeven, L. A., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2020). Why going green feels good. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 71.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Brouwer, C., & Cornelissen, G. (2018). When Do Morally Motivated Innovators Elicit Inspiration Instead of Irritation? Frontiers in Psychology, 8(2362).


    • Bolderdijk, J., Steg, L., Woerdman, E., Frieswijk, R., & De Groot, J. (2017). Understanding Effectiveness Skepticism. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 36(2), 348-361.
    • Woerdman, E., & Bolderdijk, J. (2017). Emissions trading for households? A behavioral law and economics perspective. European Journal of Law and Economics, 44(3), 553-578.
    • van den Broek, K., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2017). Individual differences in values determine the relative persuasiveness of biospheric, economic and combined appeals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 53, 145-156.


    • Taufik, D., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2016). Going green? The relative importance of feelings over calculation in driving environmental intent in the Netherlands and the United States. Energy Research & Social Science, 22, 52-62.
    • Venhoeven, L. A., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2016). Why Acting Environmentally-Friendly Feels Good: Exploring the Role of Self-Image. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.



    • Dogan, E., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2014). Making Small Numbers Count: Environmental and Financial Feedback in Promoting Eco-driving Behaviours. Journal of Consumer Policy, 37(3), 413-422.
    • Leijten, F. R. M., Bolderdijk, J. W., Keizer, K., Gorsira, M., van der Werff, E., & Steg, L. (2014). Factors that influence consumers' acceptance of future energy systems: the effects of adjustment type, production level, and price. Energy Efficiency, 7(6), 973-985.
    • Noppers, E. H., Keizer, K., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2014). The adoption of sustainable innovations: Driven by symbolic and environmental motives. Global Environmental Change, 25, 52-62.
    • Schouten, T. M., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2014). Framing car fuel efficiency: linearity heuristic for fuel consumption and fuel-efficiency ratings. Energy Efficiency, 7(5), 891-901.
    • Steg, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., Keizer, K., & Perlaviciute, G. (2014). An integrated framework for encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: The role of values, situational factors and goals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 104-115.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Gorsira, M., Keizer, K. E., & Steg, L. (2013). Values Determine the (In) Effectiveness of Informational Interventions in Promoting Pro-Environmental Behavior. PLoS ONE, 8(12).
    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Steg, L., & Postmes, T. (2013). Fostering support for work floor energy conservation policies: Accounting for privacy concerns. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(2), 195-210.
    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Steg, L., Geller, E. S., Lehman, P. K., & Postmes, T. (2013). Comparing the effectiveness of monetary versus moral motives in environmental campaigning. Nature Climate Change, 3(4), 413-416.
    • Venhoeven, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2013). Explaining the paradox: How pro-environmental behaviour can both thwart and foster well-being. Sustainability, 5(4), 1372-1386.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Knockaert, J., Steg, L., & Verhoef, E. T. (2011). Effects of Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance on young drivers' speed choice: Results of a Dutch field experiment. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43(3), 1181-1186.
    • Hamstra, M. R. W., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Veldstra, J. L. (2011). Everyday risk taking as a function of regulatory focus. Journal of Research in Personality, 45(1), 134-137.



    • Risselada, H., Bolderdijk, J. W., Mlakar, Z., Fennis, B. M., Ye, B., & Zino, L. (2020). Releasing the brake: How disinhibition frees people and facilitates innovation diffusion. In Proceedings of the European Marketing Academy: EMAC 2020 Annual Conference EMAC.


    • Handgraaf, M., Griffioen, A., Bolderdijk, J. W., & Thogersen, J. (2017). Economic Psychology and Pro‐Environmental Behaviour. In R. Raynard (Ed.), Economic Psychology (pp. 435-450). (BPS textbooks in psychology). Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Lehman, P. K., Geller, E. S., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2017). Applications of social psychology to increase the impact of behaviour-focused intervention. In L. Steg, B. Buunk, K. Keizer, & T. Rothengatter (Eds.), Applied Social Psychology (pp. 52-78). Cambridge University Press.
    • Venhoeven, L., Steg, E., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2017). Can engagement in environmentally-friendly behavior increase well-being? In G. Fleury-Bahi, E. Pol, & O. Navarro (Eds.), Handbook of environmental psychology and quality of life research (pp. 229-237). (International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life). Springer International Publishing.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., van der Werff, E., & Steg, L. (2016). De psychologische effecten van prijsprikkels. Tijdschrift Vervoerswetenschap, 52(1), 3-17.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., & Steg, L. (2014). Promoting sustainable consumption. In L. A. Reisch, & J. Thøgersen (Eds.), The risks of using financial incentives (pp. 328-342). Edward Elgar Publishing.
    • Geller, E. S., Cunningham, T., & Bolderdijk, J. W. (2014). Ecology: Achieving an ecologically sustainable future. In T. P. Gullotta, & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary prevention and health promotion (pp. 278-293). Springer.


    • Bolderdijk, J. W., Lehman, P. K., & Geller, E. S. (2012). Promoting Pro-environmental Behavior with Rewards and Penalties. In L. Steg, A. E. van den Berg, & J. I. M. de Groot (Eds.), Environmental Psychology (pp. 233-242). Wiley.


    Media appearance


    • Bolderdijk, J. W. (2010). Buying people. [Thesis, fully external, the persuasive power of money]. s.n.
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  • Ancillary activities
    • University Groningen
      Associate Professor
    • Vilnius University
      Externally hired researcher on "urban environments and hedonic consumption"