Energy Conservation Behavior: The Difficult Path from Information to Action

Costanzo, M., Archer, D., Aronson, E., & Pettigrew, T. (1986). Energy conservation behavior: The difficult path from information to action. American Psychologist, 41, 5, 521-528.
Presents a social-psychological model of energy-use behavior that draws on behavioral and social research to explain influence processes and behavioral change related to energy conservation behavior. The model consists of 2 interacting sets of factors: psychological factors that refer to how information is processed by individual decision makers and positional factors that relate to characteristics of the decision makers' situations that support or constrain action. Suggestions for maximizing the effectiveness of informational appeals to conserve energy by convincing the consumer that a pay-off will result from the use of energy conserving devices are discussed. It is suggested that the adoption of a conservatory attitude is influenced by the vividness of the argument to conserve energy, the credibility of the source, the understanding and retention of the message, and the degree to which an individual is able and willing to install conservation devices in his/her home. Alternatives to informational appeals through mass media to encourage energy conservation are proposed. (47 ref)
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