A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels

Publication and Source

Goldstein, N.J., Cialdini, R.B, & Griskevicius, V. (2008). A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(3), 472-482.  

Short Description

Social norms are a useful tool for creating behavior change. This article describes two field experiments that tested what messaging works best in asking hotel guests to reuse their towels as a part of an environmental conservation program. The signs that said "the majority of guests reuse their towels" were more successful than signs that focused on how reusing towels help the environment. And even more successful were signs that read, "the majority of guests in this room reuse their towels".