STUDY | 
Environment
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Crafting Normative Messages to Protect the Environment.

Cialdini (2003)
Robert Cialdini
Summary by 
Mark Egan

When nudges go wrong. In an attempt to reduce the theft of wood from Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park the authors put up a sign with the descriptive social normative message “Many past visitors have removed petrified wood from the Park, changing the natural state of the Petrified Forest”. This led to a near 8% increase in wood theft, as people interpreted the salient message to be “theft is common” rather than “theft is bad”.