Reaching the finish line: Analysis of the differences between active participants and drop-outs in a behaviour change intervention

Wemyss, Devon and Moser, Corinne and Castri, Roberta and Kovacs, Nikolett and Carabias, Vicente and Lobsiger-Kägi, Evelyn (2017) Reaching the finish line: Analysis of the differences between active participants and drop-outs in a behaviour change intervention. In: eceee 2017 Summer Study, 29 May – 3 June 2017, île de Giens, Hyères, France. (Submitted)

Full text not available from this repository.


Living Lab research faces high participant drop-out rates due to prolonged engagement during interventions. In a recent study where 104 participants voluntarily signed-up for an electricity-savings challenge, approximately 55% dropped out. Although drop-out is common, still many interventions show positive behavioural impacts for the participants involved. Therein exists the need to look for significant differences between people that remain active or become inactive. A 3-month field trial in Spring 2016 comparing the effectiveness of a gamified household-level electricity savings challenge provided hourly electricity consumption data, saving tips and activities to all registered participants. As well, pre- and post-intervention surveys sent to 104 participants collected data on the reported behaviour and perception of social norms of the two groups: active (n=44) and inactive (n=22), thus N=66 completed both surveys. Results show a significant difference between the active and inactive participants in their reported electricity use behaviour, which indicates that the desired behaviour change was connected to participation. Among the social norms asked in the surveys, the feeling of being socially supported through assistance (advice & guidance) and access to information for problem-solving during the intervention significantly relates to participants’ change of behaviour towards more sustainable patterns over time. And, those that were active reported a significantly increased feeling of being supported to save electricity. This study underlines the importance of having informational social support as a function in an intervention to induce the behaviour change, but still asks whether informational support is a precondition to a successful behaviour change or whether it is an outcome of remaining active in an intervention. But whether the first or second statement is true, we assume that informational social support encourages participation over a longer time period.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item