Title

An Analysis of Reaction to Unattended Running Water and Environmental Sign Prompts

Poster Number

8

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Howells

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

The current study examines the question whether participants will conserve water when exposed to changing environmental prompts and water flow. Previous studies have analyzed the effect of social norms on attitudes towards water conservation but lack data from simulated contexts (e.g., Bonaiuto et al., 2008; Lam, 2006). Participants were University of the Pacific undergraduate students. The study was conducted in the bathrooms of the Psychology Department. In a cover story, participants were instructed to wear various props and to view themselves in the bathroom mirror. The independent variables manipulated in the bathroom were a) the force of the running water from the sink faucet (high versus low) and b) the presence of a sign prompt about water conservation (posted sign versus no sign). The dependent variable was whether participants closed the faucet or left the water running. Preliminary analyses conducted on a subset of 7 participants indicated that 50% of participants in the low water force-no sign condition closed the faucet, 0% in the high water force-posted sign condition, and 50% in the low water flow-posted sign condition. Current data indicate that more participants close the faucet when water runs with low force than when water runs with high force, regardless of the presence of the sign prompt. Data collection is still in progress. Final results will be presented along with a discussion regarding the impact of water force and sign prompts on water conservation behavior.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2013 12:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 12:00 PM

An Analysis of Reaction to Unattended Running Water and Environmental Sign Prompts

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

The current study examines the question whether participants will conserve water when exposed to changing environmental prompts and water flow. Previous studies have analyzed the effect of social norms on attitudes towards water conservation but lack data from simulated contexts (e.g., Bonaiuto et al., 2008; Lam, 2006). Participants were University of the Pacific undergraduate students. The study was conducted in the bathrooms of the Psychology Department. In a cover story, participants were instructed to wear various props and to view themselves in the bathroom mirror. The independent variables manipulated in the bathroom were a) the force of the running water from the sink faucet (high versus low) and b) the presence of a sign prompt about water conservation (posted sign versus no sign). The dependent variable was whether participants closed the faucet or left the water running. Preliminary analyses conducted on a subset of 7 participants indicated that 50% of participants in the low water force-no sign condition closed the faucet, 0% in the high water force-posted sign condition, and 50% in the low water flow-posted sign condition. Current data indicate that more participants close the faucet when water runs with low force than when water runs with high force, regardless of the presence of the sign prompt. Data collection is still in progress. Final results will be presented along with a discussion regarding the impact of water force and sign prompts on water conservation behavior.