Behavior Research


The "Tools" portion of the website is still under development. Below we have included some examples of what this portion of the site might contain. Recommendations for what you would find useful are welcome.

Key Questions on Behavior, Energy and Climate Change

These questions are intended to help guide future behavioral and decision research.

Behavior Measurement Tools

Quantifying behavior change should be an essential part of any intervention. Quantification enables one to objectively validate the effectiveness of an intervention, justifying future support. It also helps improve interventions by detecting which methods are successful at changing behavior, eventually leading to "best practices."

Tools for Selecting Target Behaviors

Behavior change interventions are much more effective when they target specific behaviors, rather than raising general awareness. In order to get the "biggest bang for the buck" interventions should target behaviors based on (1) the magnitude of achievable energy reductions and (2) the malleability of the behavior. Work here may integrate existing information into an easy to read format, given that existing work tends to be decentralized and highly technical.

Carbon Footprint Resources:

Tools for Addressing Barriers

One of the main reasons that interventions fail is that barriers are ineffectively addressed. Examples of barriers include inconvenience, decreased safety, the tendency to get dirty, embarrassment, or misperceptions regarding barriers (e.g., the perception that an activity will be time consuming when, in fact, it is not). These tools may include:

  • » Contingent branching diagrams depicting specific energy-related behaviors, barriers, and ways of addressing barriers, constructed collaboratively by intervention designers
  • » Surveys that can be used to identify barriers
  • » Literature on barriers

Behavior-Related Technologies and Innovations

These technologies are available to aid in behavior change, by providing feedback about energy use, by addressing barriers to behavior change, or by providing feasible lower-energy alternatives to current behaviors. The list focuses on technologies which mainstream culture is unlikely to be aware of, or which may be difficult to find.

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