Television Feedback used to Modify Gasoline Consumption

Rothstein, Robert, N. Television Feedback Used to Modify Gasoline, Consumption, Behavior Therapy, 11, 683-688, 1980.,
Summary

This project examined the impact of feedback on the gasoline consumption of a large segment of the population. Every evening during the 6:00 news, a local television station displayed a graph showing the number of gallons of gasoline consumed that day. The graph was on the screen for thirty seconds during which time the announcer offered a conservation tip, praise and attempted to encourage friendly competition between the two cities participating.

Results

During the first three weeks of the experiment, gasoline consumption decreased by 24.8, 27.2 and 37.6%. When the graph was taken off the air for a two-week period, consumption still remained 25% below what it had been during baseline. When the graph was returned to television, consumption decreased to 33.7%. Overall, the people of the Midland-Odessa areas lowered gas consumption by 31.5%.

Prepared by: Erin Duncan and Jennifer Parker

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