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Title: The Role of Reference Groups and Entitativity in the Group Identification process for Personalized Normative Messaging Interventions
Psychologists hypothesize that the effectiveness of normative messaging interventions increases when individuals have more personal attachment and similarity with reference groups. Using readily available energy consumption data, it is now possible to create highly personalized reference groups based on households’ daily energy use in a non-invasive matter. However, it still remains unclear to what degree individuals perceive behavioral reference groups as a cohesive entity. Therefore, this research investigates how individuals perceive energy profile-based groups relative to more standard geographic proximity-based groups. An online survey is conducted with 1,928 U.S. adults. Individuals do not perceive the profile-based groups as very entitative groups. Also, similarity between energy profile-based group members indirectly affects individuals’ identification with the groups via group entitativity. Lastly, this indirect effect is larger than the direct effect of similarity between group members on group identification. These results imply that a better understanding of what affects group entitativity would allow interveners to create more effective normative feedback messages.
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International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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