Psychology and Energy-Use Reduction Policies

J. K. Swim, N. Geiger, and S. J. Zawadzki

Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (1 October 2014)

DOI: 10.1177/2372732214548591

Local, state, and federal governments are continuing to design and pass programs and policies to decrease demand for energy. These programs and policies provide social, economic, and environmental benefits. Social and behavioral scientists can inform policymaking and evaluation because of their expertise in behavioral change. Specifically, policies will be more effective if they include a behavioral level analysis to help select behaviors, design behavioral change strategies that target appropriate motives and abilities, and attend to social and environmental contexts. After describing these principles, the article illustrates how they can inform the evaluation of labeling programs designed to encourage energy-efficient behaviors among consumers, manufacturers, and building owners.

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