Weatherization behavior and social context: The influences of factual knowledge and social interaction
Southwell, B., & Murphy, J. (2014). Weatherization behavior and social context: The influences of factual knowledge and social interaction. Energy Research & Social Science, 2, 59-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2014.03.019
Although energy behavior researchers have begun to realize that factual knowledge about energy does not always translate into specific household behaviors, many interventions continue to focus on educational strategies that assume individual knowledge to be a primary lever for change. We investigate the possibility that social interaction regarding energy may also play an important role. Specifically, we use nationally representative survey data (N = 816) in the United States to assess the extent to which an indicator of relevant social interaction in one's social network regarding energy tips and information is predictive of weatherization behavior over and above individual-level knowledge and household characteristics. Results support the notion that social interaction is predictive of weatherization over and above what we would expect based solely on energy knowledge and hold important implications for future work in this arena.