A Community-Based Gasoline Conservation Project: Practical and Methodological Considerations

Hake, D. F. & Zane, T. (1981). A community-based gasoline conservation project: Practical and methodological considerations. Behavior Modification, 5, 4, 435-458.

Tested whether a community-based project, as opposed to previous college-based or one-location based studies, was feasible in terms of recruiting participants, their cooperativeness in reporting mileage, and a reduction in miles driven. Eight adults in an experimental group were paid for individual and team driving reductions relative to baseline and to 8 matched control group Ss who were simply asked to reduce and who were paid an amount approximating the experimental group. The experimental group showed a 15% reduction in miles driven relative to the control group. This study raises possibilities and problems for future community-based studies (e.g., the future practicality of small monetary incentives). Problems remain in detecting artifactual effects due to changes in life events, holidays, weather, and finding ways around the rules. Solutions may require deviation from standard behavior-analytic methodology (e.g., control groups, discussing driving habits with participants).

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