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Regulation

2005

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Order Without Social Norms: How Personal Norm Activation Can Protect The Environment, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2005

Order Without Social Norms: How Personal Norm Activation Can Protect The Environment, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article tackles a leading problem confronting norms theorists and regulators: how can the law induce changes in behavior when the material costs to the individual outweigh the benefits and there is no close-knit community to impose sanctions for failure to change? Because private individuals and households are now surprisingly large contributors to environmental problems ranging from toxic pollution to climate change, environmental policy makers face compelling examples of these negative-payoff, loose-knit group situations. This Article suggests that internalized personal norms, rather than social norms, are the most important initial target of opportunity for influencing this kind of behavior.

Drawing ...