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.
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%.