What is the threshold of “high” social pressure?

An Underrated Approach to Cutting Car Commutes: Peer Pressure

Peer pressure gets a bad rap, but sometimes a little social shame can work to the greater good. Take a well-known psychology study on the power of social norms: asking hotel guests to reuse their towels for environmental reasons worked a little, but telling them that most other guests in that hotel reused towels worked better, and informing them that most other guests in their same hotel room had done so worked best of all. The approach has worked with household energy use and recycling, too. Turns out a similar strategy might help reduce car commutes. That’s the nutshell conclusion from a recent study conducted by a research trio from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Led by psychologist Christine Kormos, the researchers found that people who were led to believe their peers had shifted to sustainable commute modes—a so-called “normative intervention”—cut their own driving over time. ….[READ]

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