Guilt, not information, works for recycling

How about that.  The Wall Street Journal found that guilt and social norms, not information, is more effective at changing behavior:

Studies dating back at least three decades clearly show the power of social norms. We tend to ascribe our actions to more high-minded motives, or to practical concerns about money. But at its core, our behavior often boils down to that old mantra: Monkey see, monkey do.

Researchers are now learning how to harness that instinct to nudge us to go green.

The article spells out that peer pressure – the guilt at seeing others going green when we don’t – works better than other incentives.  The feeling that your neighbors are greener than you are is more motivational than just about anything, the WSJ finds.