Comparing the Effects of Monetary Incentives and Foot-in-the-Door Strategies in Promoting Residential Electricity Conservation

Katzev, R. D., & Johnson, T. R. (1984). Comparing the effects of monetary incentives and foot-in-the-door strategies in promoting residential electricity conservation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 14, 1, 12-27.

Investigated the relative effectiveness of incentive (monetary) and minimal justification (foot-in-the-door) techniques in promoting electrical energy conservation among 90 homeowners. Ss were assigned to 1 of 5 conditions: Group 1 completed a short energy-conservation survey. Group 2 was asked to curtail consumption of electricity by 15% over the 41/2-mo study period. Group 3 was asked to complete the survey and to conserve electricity by 15%. The conditions of Group 3 were combined with a monetary incentive for Group 4. Group 5 was a control group. During baseline, groups did not differ in electricity consumption. Results show no differences in consumption at initial request or follow-up. However, during the conservation period, Ss in Groups 2-4 conserved more electricity than did Groups 1 and 5. It is suggested that minimum justification strategies are important in promoting energy-conserving behavior. (31 ref)

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