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Working Paper 16-8

Is the Monster Green-Eyed, or just Green? Assessing the Impact of Group Cohesion and Environmental Attitudes on Energy Conservation

AUTHOR: Mike Brock

ABSTRACT: Using tools from behavioural economics and psychology to establish nonfinancial ways to incentivise people to reduce domestic energy usage has become a popular and ever-expanding area of research.  This study builds upon the existing literature by providing subjects with energy performance information at group-level in a controlled field experiment setting.  The results indicate that the provision of this relative information does stimulate energyconserving behaviour, and this is most pronounced among those who held pretrial preferences for sustainable living.  Because these participants are more responsive to comparative information, one conjecture is that the attitudes and structure of social groups could be a key driver in determining the extent to which behavioural change is achievable.  These results therefore imply that there is a role for issuing relative information on performance, but that the role of group cohesion and affiliation could heavily determine the magnitude of these effects.


KEYWORDS: Energy Policy, Energy Consumption, Behavioural Economics, Group Cohesion, Contests.

CITATION: Brock, M. (2016) "Is the Monster Green-Eyed, or just Green? Assessing the Impact of Group Cohesion and Environmental Attitudes on Energy Conservation", CCP Working Paper 16-8

Policy Brief 16-8

 

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