Invoking Social Norms:A Social Psychology Perspective on Improving Hotels' Linen-Reuse Programs

Goldstein, N., Griskevicius, V., Cialdini, R. (2007). Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 48(2), 145-150.

Social psychology theory can be applied to such mundane purposes as encouraging guests to reuse their washroom towels. In contrast to the appeals now in use to persuade guests to reuse their towels, research found that applying the norm of reciprocation and the descriptive norm for proenvironmental action improved guests' participation in one hotel's towel-reuse program. The implication is that such research can also be applied to other areas of hotel operation to benefit businesses, consumers, and the environment.

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