Applying social influence insights to encourage climate resilient domestic water behaviour: Bridging the theory-practice gap

Lede, Ellin and Meleady, Rose ORCID: (2019) Applying social influence insights to encourage climate resilient domestic water behaviour: Bridging the theory-practice gap. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 10 (1). ISSN 1757-7780

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Water scarcity is one of the most pressing issues of our time and it is projected to increase as global demand surges and climate change limits fresh water availability. If we are to reduce water demand, it is essential that we draw on every tool in the box, including one that is underestimated and underutilised: social influence. Research from the psychological sciences demonstrates that behaviour is strongly influenced by the behaviour of others, and that social influence can be harnessed to develop cost-effective strategies to encourage climate resilient behaviour. Far less attention has been paid to investigating water-related interventions in comparison to interventions surrounding energy. In this paper we consider the application of three social influence strategies to encourage water conservation: social norms; social identity; and socially-comparative feedback. We not only review their empirical evidence base, but also offer an example of their application in the residential sector with the aim of highlighting how theoretical insights can be translated into practice. We argue that collaborations between researchers and industry are essential if we are to maximise the potential of behaviour change interventions to encourage climate resilient water behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: behaviour change,climate resilient behaviour,social influence,water conservation,water demand management,global and planetary change,geography, planning and development,atmospheric science,sdg 6 - clean water and sanitation,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Science
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 23:52
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.562

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