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Cleaning up our acts: Psychological interventions to reduce engine idling and improve air quality

Abrams, Dominic, Lalot, Fanny, Hopthrow, Tim, Templeton, Anne, Steeden, Ben, Ozkececi, Hilal, Imada, Hirotaka, Warbis, Sarah, Sandiford, Dominic, Meleady, Rose, and others. (2021) Cleaning up our acts: Psychological interventions to reduce engine idling and improve air quality. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 74 . Article Number 101587. ISSN 0272-4944. E-ISSN 1522-9610. (doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101587) (KAR id:88375)

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A large-scale field experiment tested psychological interventions to reduce engine idling at long-wait stops. Messages based on theories of normative influence, outcome efficacy, and self-regulation were displayed approaching railway crossing on street poles. Observers coded whether drivers (N = 6,049) turned off their engine while waiting at the railway crossings (only 27.2% did so at baseline). Automatic air quality monitors recorded levels of pollutants during barrier down times. To different degrees, the social norm and outcome efficacy messages successfully increased the proportion of drivers who turned off their engines (by 42% and 25%, respectively) and significantly reduced concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter (PM2.5) two meters above ground level. Thus, the environment was improved through behavior change. Moreover, of both theoretical and practical significance there was an ‘accelerator effect’, in line with theories of normative influence whereby the social norm message was increasingly effective as the volume of traffic increased.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101587
Uncontrolled keywords: pro-environmental behavior; field experiment; social norm; outcome efficacy; self-regulation; air quality
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment, Future Human
Depositing User: Dominic Abrams
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 10:40 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2022 10:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abrams, Dominic:
Lalot, Fanny:
Hopthrow, Tim:
Templeton, Anne:
Steeden, Ben:
Ozkececi, Hilal:
Imada, Hirotaka:
Meleady, Rose:
Fell, Emily:
Abrams, Zoe:
Abrams, Alice:
Abrams, Benjamin:
Leite, Ana C.:
Mills, Ashley:
Peckham, Stephen:
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