To date, measures to promote sustainable behavior by influencing attitudes have often not had the expected success. Past research indicates that using social norms to promote sustainable behavior in people with low involvement in environmental protection offers a promising basis to address this problem. In this study, this insight was transferred to the context of two environmental measures at an early stage of development by investigating the effects of social norms on the intention for sustainable behavior in people with a low intention to be involved in environmental protection. Study 1 was conducted in the context of a university project on energy-saving behavior with 606 university members, and Study 2 was carried out in the context of a project on the acceptance of an innovative, sustainable technology with 101 consumers. In both studies, social norms had stronger effects on people with a low intention to be involved in environmental protection. Therefore, using social norms to promote the intention for sustainable behavior among people with a low intention to be involved offers a promising basis for further research and could serve as an approach for designing target-group-specific strategies at early stages in the development of sustainability measures.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited