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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Doctoral Scholarly Seminar - Naseem Dillman-Hasso

Plan to join Naseem Dillman-Hasso's Doctoral Scholarly Seminar on December 7 at 2:00 p.m. in 245 Kottman Hall. Naseem will present, "A Meta-Analysis on the Persistent Effects of Incentives on Pro-Environmental Behavior Change." 

Abstract: Numerous pro-environmental behavior change interventions use financial incentives to promote desired behaviors. However, the lasting effects of incentives have not been fully studied within this context, and other contexts indicate inconsistent outcomes of incentive-based programs. This meta-analysis examines whether incentives have a persistent effect. Across 15 studies, we find that incentives promote pro-environmental behavior when in place (g = 0.53), and when removed (g = 0.23). However, upon further examination of the findings, we find that this effect is only significant among transportation-related studies, and only when incentives are not offered contingent upon behavior change. These findings support the ideas put forth in the Means-End Fusion model: intrinsic motivation, an important precursor for lasting behavior change, is best supported when the goal process is seen as fused with the goal. Contingent incentives have a strong potential to undermine that fusion, resulting in a weakening of intrinsic motivation. Implications for interventions and pathways for future research are discussed.

Advisors: Dr. Robyn Wilson and Dr. Nicole Sintov