Understanding the impact of social norms on private behaviours: Examining on-campus shower use

[Speaker] Gallagher, Elaine:1
[Co-author] Walker, Ian:1, Verplanken, Bas:1
1:University of Bath (United Kingdom)

The overuse of water is an issue which is prevalent globally at present. Efforts to implement pro-environmental behaviour change are generally limited due to the costs associated with incentives and time. Much literature has shown the efficacy of social norms campaigns in numerous social domains. This type of strategy is particularly useful in settings whereby behaviour change is challenging and where maintaining incentives is not feasible, such as that of a University campus. The current study employed a social norms intervention in order to establish if social norms are effective in the private context of showering on campus. It was hypothesised that by providng participants with false information on average showering times of their peers, that this would influence their shower duration in the direction of the norm they were given. These findings will inform if this strategy is effective for behaviour change in a real world setting.
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