Friday, August 13, 2010

Losing Money Motivates Green Behavior

I was listening to a lecture by one of my favorite psychologists, Dr. Robert Cialdini. His speciality is the power of "influence" particularly as it pertains to business. Here's a post about social influcence from TGW last year.

His topic in this lecture was the influence of scarcity. The idea is that perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales. But what might this mean for encouraging green behavior?

There was a study done in Santa Cruz, California. Researchers went door to door in certain neighborhoods with an official from the local power company who did an energy audit on each of the homes, telling homeowners where they should use weather stripping and insulate, and so on. And at the end of this audit, the official told half of them that if they would insulate their home fully, they will save $.75 a day every day. The other half were told, if you fail to insulate your home fully, you will lose $.75 a day every day. Significantly more people insulated their homes under the loss instruction then under the gain instruction.

Language and perception is everything!

Image: Total Green Energy Solutions

4 comments:

Manhattan Air Conditioning Service said...

That;'s a nice research update.You are definitely scared of a loss...and start acting immediately...that's a human reflex I know.We must use good insulation to prevent heavy electric bills.

Republic Monetary said...

Incentive is always a powerful motivator. I think incentives could be used to encourage businesses with a show of profits gained by going green. Same thing with homeowners, manufacturer, and just about every other organization.

North Jersey Air Systems said...

It is necessary that all are aware of the consequences of the harm that we cause to the Earth and know what action will be suitable.This is a very good effort by the group.

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