Surveillance or self-surveillance? Behavioral cues can increase the rate of drivers’ pro-environmental behavior at a long wait stop

Meleady, Rose, Abrams, Dominic, Van de Vyver, Julie, Hopthrow, Tim, Mahmood, Lynsey, Player, Abigail, Lamont, Ruth and Leite, Ana C. (2017) Surveillance or self-surveillance? Behavioral cues can increase the rate of drivers’ pro-environmental behavior at a long wait stop. Environment and Behavior, 49 (10). pp. 1156-1172. ISSN 0013-9165

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Abstract

By leaving their engines idling for long periods drivers contribute unnecessarily to air pollution, waste fuel, and produce noise and fumes that harm the environment. Railway level crossings are sites where many cars idle, many times a day. In this research, testing two psychological theories of influence, we examine the potential to encourage drivers to switch off their ignition while waiting at rail crossings. Two field studies presented different signs at a busy rail crossing site with a 2-minute average wait. Inducing public self-focus (via a 'Watching Eyes' stimulus) was not effective, even when accompanied by a written behavioral instruction. Instead, cueing a private-self focus (“think of yourself”) was more effective, doubling the level of behavioral compliance. These findings confirm the need to engage the self when trying to instigate self-regulatory action, but that cues evoking self-surveillance may sometimes be more effective than cues that imply external surveillance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: psychology,behavior change,driver behavior,self-regulation,watching eyes,pro-environmental behavior,surveillance,private self-focus,visual cues
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 00:05
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 01:18
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/62023
DOI: 10.1177/0013916517691324

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