People in several countries are overwhelmed with green tips in order to encourage them protecting the environment. The effectiveness of these tips, however, highly depends on the context and the person targeted by the tips. In particular, we contend that some green tips may do more harm than good when individuals have cognitive and behavioral biases. Without purporting to be exhaustive, we explain some of these biases and mechanisms by which green tips may lead to a net environmental degradation. We also emphasize that it is possible to complement green tips with debiasing strategies to guarantee their performance. We present some of these strategies, notably the foot-in-the-door technique, commitment strategies, the strategic use of small changes and individuals’ pursuit of identity. Finally, several policy implications are developed.
Behavioral insights for the analysis of green tips
16 January 2017