Commitment and Energy Conservation

Neuman, K. (1986). Personal values and commitment to energy conservation. Environment and Behavior, 18, 1, 53-74.

Discusses the process by which the authors became involved in energy conservation (EC) research, explores practical issues about EC, and discusses several sets of data concerning EC by homeowners. The authors became involved in this area as an outgrowth of an interest in attitude change processes and their relationship to behavior. Studies of energy usage were begun initially as a test of the power-of-commitment variable. Of a total of 212 homeowners, only 7 refused to participate when contacted by telephone to arrange an initial interview, and 3 refused to sign a release form. Ss were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: (a) public commitment (PUC), in which names of Ss and results would be publicized; (b) private commitment in which anonymity would be maintained; and (c) no-treatment controls. Results of 2 studies show that PUC Ss showed lower rates of increased usage of natural gas and electricity than those Ss in either of the other 2 conditions. The effect of the commitment manipulation persisted even though the Ss had been informed that the study was concluded and that their stand would not become public. (16 ref)

Find this article online
Site Courtesy of
McKenzie-Mohr & Associates

Expertise in Community-Based Social Marketing