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Effective Dissemination of Energy-Related Information: Applying Social Psychology and Evaluation Research

Publication Type:

Journal Article


American Psychologist, Volume 45, Number 10, p.1109-1117 (1990)



Reviews deficiencies in energy information programs that are based on the rational-economic model to change individual-level behaviors. Literature from social psychology, environmental psychology, evaluation research, and innovation diffusion is used to address 2 needs. The 1st is the need to supplement the rational-economic model with social and behavioral theories to understand the problem. The 2nd is the need to use some of the tools from these fields to make energy information-dissemination programs more effective at the individual level. Government agencies commonly seek to change public behavior using informational energy programs; however, program designs rarely take into account psychological theories about how people perceive or use the information.