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Foundational Readings

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Examples of foundational readings include:

  • Review papers on behavior and energy
  • Introductory surveys of relevant disciplines
  • Important work from traditionally non-environmental disciplines that have been successful in facilitating behavior change

Reviews on Behavior and Energy

Delmas, M., Fischlein, M & Asensio, O. 2013. Information Strategies and Energy Conservation Behavior: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies from 1975 to 2012. Energy Policy. 61: 729–739.

Strategic Planning and Evaluation for Energy Efficiency. Nine white papers on behavior and energy have been prepared on a variety of topics. University of California, California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE).

Lutzenhiser, L. (1993). Social and Behavioral Aspects of Energy Use. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 18(1), 247-89.

T. Dietz, P. C. Stern, eds. (2002). New Tools for Environmental Protection: Education, Information, and Voluntary Measures. National Academies Press: Washington, DC.

Wilson, C. & Dowlatabadi, H. (2007). Models of Decision Making and Residential Energy Use. Annual Review of Environmental Resources, 32(2), 1-35.

N. R. Feimer, E. S. Geller, eds. (1983). Environmental Psychology: Directions and Perspectives. Praeger Press: New York, NY.

Vine, Edward L. (1993). The Human Dimension of Program Evaluation. Energy Analysis Program, Energy and Environment Division, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California: Berkeley, CA. Report LBL--33601.

Gardner, G. T. & Stern, P. C. (1996). Environmental Problems and Human Behavior. Allyn and Bacon: Boston, MA.

Abrahamse, Wokje; Steg, Linda; Vlek, Charles; & Rothengatter, Talib. (2005). A Review of Intervention Studies Aimed At Household Energy Conservation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 273-91.

Integrated Intervention Approaches


McKenzie-Mohr, D. & Smith, W. (1999). Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing. New Society Publishers: Gabriola Island, BC, Canada.


Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, V. S. Ramachandran, ed. 4, 71-81. Academic Press: San Diego, CA.

Bandura, A. (2004). Social Cognitive Theory for Personal and Social Change by Enabling Media. In Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice, Arvind Singhal, Michael J. Cody, Everett M. Rogers, Miguel Sabido, eds. Lawrence-Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ.


Glanz, K.; Rimer, B. K.; & Lewis, F. M. (2002). Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice, Third Edition. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.

Eriksen, Michael. (2005). Appendix D: Lessons Learned from Public Health Efforts and Their Relevance to Preventing Childhood Obesity. In Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, Jeffrey P. Koplan, Catharyn T. Liverman, Vivica A. Kraak, eds. 343-76. National Academies Press: Washington, DC. (An overview chapter of effective techniques in public health.)


Arvind Singhal, Michael J. Cody, Everett M. Rogers, Miguel Sabido, eds. (2004). Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice. Lawrence-Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ.



Bator, R. J. & Cialdini, R. B. (2000). New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: The Application of Persuasion Theory to the Development of Effective Proenvironmental Public Service Announcements. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 527-41.


Slovic, P. (1987). Perception of Risk. Science, 236(4799), 280-85.

Mastrandrea, M.; Leurs, A.; & Schneider, S. (2006). Changing Perceptions of Changing Risks: Climate Change and the California Public. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: Stanford, CA. Policy Brief.


Public Opinion Survey work by Jon Krosnik.


Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL.

Social Psychology

Rhode, D. L. & Ross, L. (2007). Environmental Values and Behaviors: Strategies for Encouraging Public Support of Global Warming Initiatives. [Note: link downloads a PDF file]. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: Stanford, CA. Policy Brief.

Stern, P. C. (2000). Toward a Coherent Theory of Environmentally Significant Behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 523-30.


Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations, Fifth Edition. Free Press: New York, NY. (See chapter 1 for an overview.)

Darley, J. M. & Beniger, J. R. (1981). Diffusion of Energy-Conserving Innovations. Journal of Social Issues, 37(2), 150-71.

Gladwell, M. (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Little, Brown and Company: New York, NY.

Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2007). Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Random House Publishing Group: New York, NY. (See chapter 1 for an overview.)

Technology Design


Norman, D. (1990). The Design of Everyday Things. Doubleday: New York, NY.

Pirolli, P. L. (1999). Cognitive Architectures and Cognitive Engineering Models in Human-Computer Interaction. In The Handbook of Applied Cognition, Francis Thomas Durso, Raymond S. Nickerson, Susan T. Dumais, Stephan Lewandowsky, Timothy J. Perfect, eds. Wiley: Sussex, England.


Fogg, B. J. (2003). Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers: San Francisco, CA.

IJsselsteijn, W. A.; Kort, Y. A. W. de; Midden, C. J. H.; Eggen, J. H.; & Hoven, E. A. W. H. van den (2006). Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being: Setting the Scene. In Persuasive Technology: First International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being, PERSUASIVE 2006, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, May 18-19, 2006, W. A. IJsselsteijn, Y. A. W. de Kort, eds. Springer: Berlin, Germany. Proceedings.

Feedback Readings

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Darby, S. (2006). The Effectiveness of Feedback on Energy Consumption: A Review for DEFRA of the Literature on Metering, Billing and Direct Displays. (PDF). Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford: Oxford, England.

Neenan, B. & Robinson, J. (2009). Residential Electricity Use Feedback: A Research Synthesis and Economic Framework. (PDF). EPRI, Palo Alto, CA. 1016844.

Ehrhardt-Martinez, K. (June 2010). Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricty-Saving Opportunities. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Ehrhardt-Martinez, K. (2010). Changing Habits, Lifestyles and Choices: The Behaviours that Drive Feedback-Induced Energy Savings (PDF). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado.

Ehrhardt-Martinez, K. (2010). A Comparison of Feedback-Induced Behaviors from Monthly Energy Reports, Online Feedback, and In-home Displays (PDF). Garrison Institute.

Ehrhardt-Martinez, K. (2010). The Persistence of Feedback-Induced Energy Savings (PDF).

Herter PhD, K. (Feb 2012). Home vs. Appliance level affected residential loads.

Bye, T. & Bruvoll, A. (2008). Multiple Instruments to Change Energy Behaviour: The Emperor’s New Clothes? Energy Efficiency, 1(4), 373-86.

McSweeney, F. K. & Bierley, C. (1984). Recent Developments in Classical Conditioning. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(2), 619-31.

Rothschild, M. L. & Gaidis, W. C. (1981). Behavioral Learning Theory: Its Relevance to Marketing and Promotions. Journal of Marketing, 45(2), 70-8.


Moggridge, Bill. (2006). Designing Interactions. The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Kelley, T. (2001). The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm. Currency Double Day: New York, NY.

Behavior as Related to Economics and Modeling


Kagel, J. H. & Roth, A. E. (1995). The Handbook of Experimental Economics. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ. (Especially relevant is chapter 8, "Individual Behavior," and chapter 2, "Public Goods.") (Note: This book is most useful with a background of at least one microeconomics course.)

Loewenstein, G.; Read, D.; & Baumeister, R. F. (2003). Time and Decision: Economic and Psychological Perspectives on Intertemporal Choice. Russell Sage Foundation Publications: New York, NY.


Thompson, B. (2000). Tragically Difficult: The Obstacles to Governing the Commons. Environmental Law, 30(2), 241-78.


Jaffe, A. B. & Stavins, R. N. (1994). The Energy Efficiency Gap: What Does it Mean? Energy Policy, 22(10), 804-10.

Levine, M. D.; Koomey, J. G.; McMahon, J. E.; Sanstad, A. H.; & Hirst, E. (1995). Energy Efficiency Policy and Market Failures. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 20, 535-55.


DeCanio, S. J. (2003). Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique. Palgrave MacMillan: New York, NY.

Laitner, J. A.; DeCanio, S. J.; & Peters, I. (2000). Incorporating Behavioral, Social, and Organizational Phenomena in the Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Options. In Society, Behaviour, and Climate Change Mitigation, E. Jochem, J. Sathaye, D. Bouille, eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Bernheim, D. & Rangel, A. (2007). Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers. In Behavioral Economics and Its Applications, Peter Diamond, Hannu Vartiainen, eds. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.



Heffner, R. R.; Turrentine, T. S.; & Kurani, K. S. (2006). A Primer on Automobile Semiotics. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California: Davis, CA. Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-06-01.

Turrentine, T. S. & Kurani, K. S. (2007). Car Buyers and Fuel Economy? Energy Policy, 35(2), 1213-23.


Frank, L. D.; Saelens, B. E.; Powell, K. E.; & Chapmand, J. E. (2007). Stepping Towards Causation: Do Built Environments or Neighborhood and Travel Preferences Explain Physical Activity, Driving, and Obesity? Social Science & Medicine, 65(9), 1898-1914.

Strege, Nancy. (2006). A Summary Report of the 2006 James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology: Transportation Choices: The Important Role of Walking and Biking. Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota: Minneapolis, MN. (Of particular interest is "Mayor of Münster Touts Bicycling Paradise" on page 8.)

Maibach, W. E. (2003). Recreating Communities to Support Active Living: A New Role for Social Marketing. American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(1), 114-19.


California Energy Commission. (2006). Myths About Energy, Energy Fallacies & Weird Energy Facts.

Lawrence Berkeley Labs. (2001). Eleven Energy Myths: From Efficient Halogen Lights to Cleaning Refrigerator Coils.


Lepper, M. R. & Henderlong, J. (2000). Turning "Play" Into "Work" and "Work" Into "Play": 25 Years of Research on Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Motivation. In Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: The Search for Optimal Motivation and Performance, C. Sansone, J. Harackiewicz, eds. 257-307. Academic Press: San Diego, CA.