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Competition and norms: a self-defeating combination?

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Title: Competition and norms: a self-defeating combination?
Authors: Alberts, G
Gurguc, Z
Koutroumpis, P
Martin, R
Muuls, M
Napp, T
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of information feedback mechanisms on electricity and heating usage at a student hall of residence in London. In a randomised control trial, we formulate different treatments such as feedback information and norms, as well as prize competition among subjects. We show that information and norms lead to a sharp – more than 20% - reduction in overall energy consumption. Because participants do not pay for their energy consumption this response cannot be driven by cost saving incentives. Interestingly, when combining feedback and norms with a prize competition for achieving low energy consumption, the reduction effect – while present initially – disappears in the long run. This could suggest that external rewards reduce and even destroy intrinsic motivation to change behaviour.
Issue Date: Sep-2016
Date of Acceptance: 1-Jun-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/33898
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.06.001
ISSN: 1873-6777
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 504
End Page: 523
Journal / Book Title: Energy Policy
Volume: 96
Copyright Statement: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: The British Academy
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
EPSRC
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: SG113013
EP/I038837/1
EP/I038837/1
EP/N023242/1
Keywords: Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Economics
Energy & Fuels
Environmental Sciences
Environmental Studies
Business & Economics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Behavioural intervention
Household energy demand
Randomised controlled trial
Information
Norms
Competition
INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
ENERGY-CONSERVATION
SOCIAL NORMS
ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
DECISION-MAKING
FEEDBACK
BEHAVIOR
EFFICIENCY
MONITORS
REWARDS
Energy
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2016-06-25
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School
Grantham Institute for Climate Change
Faculty of Natural Sciences