Using Social Norms to Motivate
John E. Robinson
27 November 2009
A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to
Motivate Environmental Conservation
The authors of this article identified the efforts towards building the research conducted while attempting to theorize a study involving environmental conservation among hotel patrons and the reuse of towels. The purpose of this essay is to articulate whether the study provided a theoretical framework; relevant variables; a sufficient hypotheses; a research design; an adequate sized sample; properly sanctioned research; consistent means of data collection and data analysis; and a proper discussion and interpretation of findings. Detailed analysis will be provided identifying the positive and negative aspects of the study. There will also be feedback that will articulate the quality of the research and the efficient means of data collection that directly affected the study. There will be a review of the discussion and findings. There will also be a productive analysis of the over or under utilization of the sample and how the sample size may not have been adequately chosen for a real world application of the results. There will be language that identifies methodology potholes and gaps within the research as well as areas where the research was valid as it relates to the intended purpose of the study.
Initially, the study provided a theoretical framework that clearly articulated and described the variables, measures, and findings. As the study progressed, the author did not consider the audience as environmentally conscious or not. By not identifying the types of people who will be targeted, the study was generic in theory. This would be over-generalization which precludes that the findings will be consistent among a wider variety audience. Since the framework only included generic variables, the study should not be considered conclusive outside of the direct audience that was targeted. Therefore, the framework fits the problem generically but not specifically. The question regarding the use of the two types of signs was answered. However, the fact that people decided to reuse towels after reading one sign versus others who did not reuse towels based on the other sign does not definitively determine that non-environmentally conscious people would reuse towels because non-environmentally conscious vs. environmentally conscious subjects were not determined and included as a variable. [ (Trochim, 2006) ]
As for variables, as stated previously, the study could have included the non-environmentally conscious vs. the environmentally conscious. Also, the study could have included age, gender, and class (business or personal) as variables in the study. Differing ages usually determines the level of hygiene. Elderly patrons are not as active as they once were and tend to bathe less often. They would be more apt to bathing once a day and taking sponge baths when needed meaning that they will reuse their towels more readily than the active adult. Children are not usually as hygienic as adults. Children wake up in the morning and do not bathe unless they are told. They do not take showers after playing and sweating outside. They do not take showers after swimming in a public pool that is saturated in chlorine or in the salt water filled ocean. Children will go to bed without bathing unless mom or dad tells them to bathe. This is an important variable because adults, in most similar situations, will bathe after each of the episodes. Children would use the same towel their entire stay in the hotel. However, adults may use a different towel after taking a shower attempting to clean the salt water from ocean from his/her body. Reuse is less likely among the middle-aged adult group versus the elderly and the children groups. Gender would have been a significant variable because men...