Last year, humankind exhausted the planet’s resources for the year earlier than ever before by consuming food, water, or clean air beyond the nature’s sustainable means. To prevent further environmental damages, understanding and promoting individual pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) is crucial. However, motivating individual PEB is considered difficult as it is often costlier and more burdensome than non-eco-friendly behaviour. One promising recent approach is the concept of ‘digital nudging’, which examines the effectiveness of user-interface elements to guide people’s behaviour in digital choice environments. Prior research has focused on nudging PEB through anchoring and adjustment, overlooking the import nudging mechanisms of priming and status quo bias. To test nudges’ direct and interaction effects on motivating individual PEB, we conducted a randomized, laboratory experiment with 120 participants. We find that groups nudged with a status quo bias acted more pro-environmentally. Surprisingly, we find no differences in PEB between groups nudged with priming and the control group, indicating priming’s ineffectiveness in motivating PEB. Our study contributes to research on Green IS and digital nudging and offers directions for future research.
Henkel, Christopher; Seidler, Anna-Raissa; Kranz, Johann; and Fiedler, Marina, (2019). "HOW TO NUDGE PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOUR: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research Papers.