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The power of social norms has been used to promote energy conservation and other prosocial outcomes. From studies involving the reuse of hotel towels, energy consumption in towns, and the reduction of theft at national forests, UCLA Anderson School of Management Professor Noah Goldstein demonstrates that individuals are greatly influenced when they know how peers behave in the same situation. This presents an opportunity for marketers, managers and policymakers to craft messages that encourage positive activity. Goldstein spoke at Small Steps, Great Leaps, a special research briefing convened by Professor Francis Flynn and Jennifer Aaker and their colleagues in the field of prosocial behavior. They presented practical, and cost-effective solutions for encouraging donations, volunteerism, social activism, and other responsible, caring, and prosocial behaviors.
The 21st century needs to harness the power of water, and the battered coastal city of New Orleans may just have the goods to do it.