Effects of Television Modeling on Residential Energy Conservation

Winett, R. A., Leckliter, I. N., Chinn, D. E., Stahl, B., & Love, S. Q. (1985). Effects of television modeling on residential energy conservation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 1, 33-44.

A combination of social marketing, communication, social learning (particularly modeling), and behavior analysis may provide an effective framework for behavior change via films and television. We used this approach in developing special television programs about residential energy conservation. The programs were tailored and directed to preselected middle-class homeowners (N = 150), and delivered over a public access channel of a cable TV system. The results indicated that after one program exposure (about 20 minutes), viewers adopted simple strategies modeled in the programs which led to savings of approximately 10% on their home energy use for a substantial part of the cooling and heating season. Although the potential benefits to costs of large-scale media efforts seemed great, institutional barriers for such programs were identified. Less expensive, more local programs seem more viable. DESCRIPTORS: energy conservation, TV modeling, consumer behavior, behavioral community psychology

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