<go to database

Nolan et al., 2008, Experiment 2: Promoting energy compliance with social norms decreased energy consumption among California households over one month


Nolan, J. M., Schultz, P. W., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N. J., & Griskevicius, V. (2008). Normative social influence is underdetected. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 34(7), 913-923.
Download PDF


Several hundred households in California received four door hangers over a month representing four different conservation behaviors and one of several reasons to conserve. As compared to households that received one of several control hangers (which emphasized financial savings, environmental protection, responsibility to future generations, or mere information), households that received door hangers that emphasized social norms (“Join Your Neighbors in Conserving Energy. Summer is here and most people in your community are finding ways to conserve energy at home. How are San Marcos residents like you conserving this summer?...”) used less energy over the month of the intervention. However, the treatment effect eroded over the subsequent month.

Psychological Process:

Psychological Process 2:


What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning


Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Process 3:

Social Area:

Intervention Technique:

Share This Post:

Posted By:

Greg Walton & Timothy Wilson