IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/feb/natura/00651.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Isolating the Effect of Injunctive Norms on Conservation Behavior: New Evidence from a Field Experiment in California

Author

Listed:
  • Syon Bhanot

Abstract

Social norms messaging campaigns are increasingly used to influence human behavior, with social science research generally finding that they have modest but meaningful effects. One aspect of these campaigns in practice has been the inclusion of injunctive norms messaging, designed to convey a social judgement about one's behaviors (often in the form of encouraging or discouraging language, or a visual smiley or frowny face). While some prominent research has provided support for the use of such messaging as a tool for positive behavior change, causal evidence on the effect of injunctive norms messaging as a motivator (as opposed to just one part of a multifaceted messaging campaign) is limited. This paper presents a field experiment on water conservation behavior conducted by an organization in California, involving over 40,000 households, which provides some of the most precise evidence to date regarding the effect of injunctive norms on decision making. I find that not only do injunctive norms encourage conservation behavior, there is also no evidence that they discourage individuals from further attending norms messaging-regardless of whether the social judgement conveyed is negative or positive. Taken together, this suggests that injunctive norms are a useful tool in "nudge"-style campaigns tackling behavior change.

Suggested Citation

  • Syon Bhanot, 2019. "Isolating the Effect of Injunctive Norms on Conservation Behavior: New Evidence from a Field Experiment in California," Natural Field Experiments 00651, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00651
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://s3.amazonaws.com/fieldexperiments-papers2/papers/00651.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00651. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel). General contact details of provider: http://www.fieldexperiments.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.