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The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms: Reprise:

The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms: Reprise: The influence of social norms on behavior has been a longstanding storyline within social psychology. Our 2007 Psychological Science publication presented a new rendition of this classic telling. The reported field experiment showed that social norms could be leveraged to promote residential energy conservation, but importantly, the descriptive norm was shown to increase consumption for low-consuming households. This potential destructive effect of social norms was eliminated with the addition of an injunctive message of social approval for using less energy. The article is among the 30 most-cited articles across all APS publications, which we attribute to our methodology, which measured real behavior in a large-scale field experiment and to several circumstances associated with the timing of the work. The article coincided with the explosion of social media, the emergence of behavioral economics, and a heightened level of concern about climate change. These contemporaneous activities set the stage for our work and for its high degree of citation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Perspectives on Psychological Science SAGE

The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms: Reprise:

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by Association for Psychological Science
ISSN
1745-6916
eISSN
1745-6924
DOI
10.1177/1745691617693325
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The influence of social norms on behavior has been a longstanding storyline within social psychology. Our 2007 Psychological Science publication presented a new rendition of this classic telling. The reported field experiment showed that social norms could be leveraged to promote residential energy conservation, but importantly, the descriptive norm was shown to increase consumption for low-consuming households. This potential destructive effect of social norms was eliminated with the addition of an injunctive message of social approval for using less energy. The article is among the 30 most-cited articles across all APS publications, which we attribute to our methodology, which measured real behavior in a large-scale field experiment and to several circumstances associated with the timing of the work. The article coincided with the explosion of social media, the emergence of behavioral economics, and a heightened level of concern about climate change. These contemporaneous activities set the stage for our work and for its high degree of citation.

Journal

Perspectives on Psychological ScienceSAGE

Published: Mar 29, 2018

Keywords: environment,allied field,behavioral economics

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