What is conspicuous conservation, and could it really help save the planet?

It’s easy to think one single person can’t make a difference with an issue as overwhelming and all-encompassing as climate change. But according to research by Robert Cialdini, Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, one individual is all it takes to influence companies and neighbors.

In an article March 26, 2019, in Fast Company:

A psychological study by Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University found that the most effective way to get people to save energy was by convincing them that their neighbors were better at saving energy than they were. In a famous experiment, Cialdini found that people were not motivated to be more sustainable by the promise of saving money, or even feeling good about saving the planet or being a good citizen. Instead, people who read that 77 percent of their neighbors turned down their air conditioning also turned down theirs.



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