Article

Changing Behavior and Making it Stick

Environment and Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.27). 05/1993; 25(4):485-505. DOI: 10.1177/0013916593253003
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT

A sustainable planet is not possible without patterns of conserving behavior. The resource-costly life-styles that are characteristic of the current scene present a historic challenge. Never before have so many behaviors needed to change in so short a time. More challenging is that they must stay changed. For many reasons the techniques commonly used to promote conservation behavior are more reliable at modulating short-term behavior than at achieving durable change. The perceived urgency of environmental problems tends to make immediate behavior change the major focus. But of equal importance is the stability of behavior once changed. Thus one goal of conservation behavior research is to discover techniques that change individual behavior while minimizing or eliminating the need for repeated intervention. This article categerorizes behavior change techniques first by their informational or motivational nature and second by the source of the change: derived from others or gained by direct personal involvement. Evaluating selected techniques using five proposed dimensions suggests why durable behavior change has been so hard to achieve. Research implications are discussed.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 29, 2013
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    • "This technique requires individuals to make a formal pledge to change aspects of their behavior, usually related to specified goals. Several studies (e.g., Matthies et al. 2006; Wang and Katzev 1990) have shown that people seem inclined to adhere to their commitments and thus exhibit behavior change, and these findings have been acknowledged in multiple reviews (Osbaldiston and Schott 2012; Abrahamse et al. 2005; DeYoung 1993; Dwyer et al. 1993). Indeed, a meta-analysis by Lokhorst et al. (2013) showed that commitment-making is effective across different environmental behaviors, especially when combined with other strategies. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on energy saving in an office environment. We developed and tested an intervention that contained both the administration of feedback as well as commitment making: Two techniques that are often described in the literature as successful, especially when combined. Using a sample of 146 employees, we tested the interventions’ effectiveness for our sample in terms of behavior change. Our results show some effects, but these were irrespective of experimental condition. We use this failed experiment to reflect upon critical aspects of the setup and implementation, and provide ideas on how such interventions can be improved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
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    • "This technique requires individuals to make a formal pledge to change aspects of their behavior, usually related to specified goals. Several studies (e.g., Matthies et al. 2006; Wang and Katzev 1990) have shown that people seem inclined to adhere to their commitments and thus exhibit behavior change, and these findings have been acknowledged in multiple reviews (Osbaldiston and Schott 2012; Abrahamse et al. 2005; DeYoung 1993; Dwyer et al. 1993). Indeed, a meta-analysis by Lokhorst et al. (2013) showed that commitment-making is effective across different environmental behaviors, especially when combined with other strategies. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on energy saving in an office environment. We developed and tested an intervention that contained both the administration of feedback as well as commitment-making: two techniques that are often described in the literature as successful, especially when combined. Using a sample of 146 employees, we tested the intervention's effectiveness for our sample in terms of behavior change. Our results show some effects, but these were irrespective of experimental category. We use this failed experiment to reflect upon critical aspects of the design and implementation of intervention, and provide ideas on how such interventions can be improved.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Human Ecology
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    • "Under the right circumstances, habit and information gaps about existing options may be overcome (Gärling and Schuitema, 2007). Although campaigns attempting to change behavior by promising social and environmental incentives have brought some disappointing results (De Young, 1993), research has demonstrated the value of socio-psychological models in affecting behavior change by addressing day-to-day convenience and lack of knowledge about existing options (Costanzo et al., 1986; Stern, 2000). For example, in the recycling field, Viscusi et al. (2012) found that motivations for recycling included private values regarding the environment as well as economic incentives, either direct (provided to the individual) or indirect (government programs that reduce private costs of recycling). "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban college campuses often face challenges providing maximum transportation accessibility. Many believe strategies to ‘push’ and ‘pull’ individuals out of private automobiles will reduce emissions and mitigate the need for parking. This study focuses on UC Berkeley’s evaluation of a program that conducts targeted outreach to encourage shifts away from driving. The program provides customized information on commute alternatives, and is evaluated using descriptive as well as inferential statistics, focusing on effectiveness. Although the sample size is small, the findings show that a large component of program participants (8%) changed modes. Interviews with commuters evaluated potential barriers, including the adequacy, safety and convenience of alternatives. The study concluded that information alone is not adequate to draw individuals away from autos; other efforts to reach patrons must make driving alternatives easy and appealing. More research is needed on the interplay between outreach efforts and mode shift. Additional research and policy outcomes for urban campuses include: (1) a focus on information technology aided ride matching or carpooling; and (2) an increased focus on the telework environment. These strategies can assist urban campuses to refine comprehensive transportation demand management programs.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Transportation Research Part A Policy and Practice
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