Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prefer to be green than greedy?

Which of the following message will pomp you to check the pressure of your tyres? 

1) Want to protect the environment? Check your car’s tire pressure.
2) Want to save money? Check your car’s tire pressure.

A paper in Nature Climate Change found that an economic tyre-check appeal (the first one) elicited significantly less compliance than parallel biospheric one.  The authors argued that economic self-interest aside, people also care about maintaining a favorable image of themselves and may prefer to see themselves as green rather than greedy.

The implication of this study is that the dominant reliance on economic appeals to promote environmentally-friendly behaviors might not be so productive.  "Social marketers change behaviour may thus benefit from also considering another, basic source of human motivation: the need to maintain a favourable view of oneself".

I am not surprised by the results of the study.  The study was conducted in the Netherlands, a country with bike culture and 40% of people in Amsterdam ride their bike on a daily basis

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