Applying Social Psychology to Desegregation and Energy Conservation. Special Issue: Illustrating the Value of Basic Research
Aronson, E. (1990). Applying social psychology to desegregation and energy conservation. Special Issue: Illustrating the value of basic research. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 1, 118-132.
Presents 2 examples of social psychology in action in dealing with an immediate crisis and a gradual problem. The immediate crisis occurred when a school system was desegregated, and interracial conflict was exacerbated. After observing the competitive situation in an elementary school classroom, the author and colleagues suggested that students be placed in a jigsaw classroom. This method structured student interactions such that cooperation was required for success and achievement. In responding to an energy crisis, some of the home energy auditors of a gas and electric company were trained to communicate with homeowners about energy conservation, based on strategies of social and cognitive psychology. As a result, these auditors persuaded 60.9% of the homeowners they visited to weatherize their homes, a figure significantly higher than that of the control group.