Values, norms and energy use


Norms and Energy Use: Transportation in Groningen

Social Norm Theory ( Cialdini, Kalgren & Reno, 1990 ) mm-dd-yy | 2 › Injunctive norms: The behavior commonly (dis)approved. (Social) Sanction, Reward › Descriptive norms: The behavior commonly displayed. › Salience is important › Aligned norms are stronger

Project 1 › Promoting Orderly Bike Parking in Groningen

Kaartje binnenstad

Previous Studies on Parking Problems › 44% Sees inappropriate parking as a problem › 67% Shopping › 64% Park < 30 minutes › 42% Not enough parking spaces

Making the injunctive norm salient Prohibition sign: 37% Prescriptive sign: 60%

Making the injunctive norm salient › How? › Please park your bicycle within the green area 

PROPOSED FIELD EXPERIMENT › Method: • Pre and post intervention • Observational › Outcome measures: • % Bikers conforming to parking norm • % Bikers being socially sanctioned

Project 2: Reducing cars driving to city

Car Public Transit Bike Walk > 10km 5-10km < 5km Public Transit PT or bike Bike or walk


Segmented approach


Transportation modes for 5-10 km

1% 1% 45% car public transportation bicycle walk other 14%

Social Norms › Theoretical gaps: • Behavior suggestions: 1 vs. 2 alternatives • Norm effectiveness: perception vs. actual

Action Research › 4 conditions (all groups receive information + incentive) • Bike norm info • • • Public transport norm info Bike + PT norm info Control

Action Research › Procedure • Telephone Survey • • Mail packages Outcome measures • Telephone follow up survey • Objective assessment

The message (For people 5-10 km) › Many people believe that using sustainable transportation is the right thing to do. (injunctive) › 53% of people in your neighborhood use a bike or public transportation to go to work everyday.


› Join us in making Groningen the most sustainable city in the Netherlands!

› Please use a bike or public transportation when you go to work.

Expected outcomes › Practical • Decrease car use in city for segmented area › Theoretical hypotheses • Experimental groups will reduce car use more than control • Perception of norm may interact with reported norm

Project 3: The use of norms on testimonials

Purpose of the study: increase preference for the tram

“ Well, I think the tram is a good plan, as long as it will go past Euroborg” “I used the tram in Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Amsterdam, and a couple of other city's. I really like it”

Which message works best?

Injunctive: The tram will be an

appropriate means of

transportation” › Descriptive: 60% of people traveling within Groningen will take the tram

When both norms align tram preference will increase

Which message works best… and for whom?

Target group: People working in Groningen and living outside of Groningen › Important: Identify with the individual providing the testimonial


Identification with models will increase tram preference

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Thank you for your attention

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