Norm-focused nudges influence pro-environmental choices and moderate post-choice emotional responses

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 12,710 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

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Abstract :

In this paper, we use choice architecture techniques to activate both social and personal norms, seeking to increase pro-environmental choices and to better understand the effect of such norm types on post-choice emotional responses. In four experiments, we make different social or personal norms salient by aligning choice environments with psychosocial mechanisms that activate different types of norms. We use different choice architecture techniques to change information, alter product sets, and generate the social consequences of choices. The target behavior, purchasing a recycled paper notebook, is captured through direct purchase behaviors or willingness to pay commitments. We find that choice architecture activates personal but not social norms, and that associated positive and negative emotions (guilt, shame, regret and pride) are elicited by choices but not by willingness to pay. Moreover, manipulating choice environment moderates the relationship between choice and norm-related emotions, such that positive emotional responses seem to be stronger than negative ones. The results suggest that choice architecture interventions can activate individual level beliefs about sustainability and help reduce the attitude-behavior gap.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653453958