Sustainable Behavior Evaluations

Researcher: Sander van der Linden

Department: Former post-doc in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and the Psychology Department

Project Summary: Van der Linden conducted behavioral evaluations of the “Do it in the Dark” residential college energy competition and the Drink Local campaign. Results showed that energy savings achieved during the competition reversed once the competition ended. These results suggest that pro-environmental behavior is more likely to be sustained by intrinsic motivation based on personal beliefs, rather than a one-time reward.

Van der Linden’s Social and Environmental Decision-Making (SED) lab also conducted student surveys to evaluate water bottle consumption on campus. The results provide evidence that Drink Local has been successful at reducing purchases of plastic bottled water by encouraging behavior change. 

Apply for Funding from The High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund for your CAL research.