Prof. P. Wesley Schultz

P. WESLEY SCHULTZ is Professor of Psychology at California State University, San Marcos. He is an active researcher in the areas of environmental psychology, social marketing, and quantitative methods, and recognized as a leading scholar in the behavioral dimensions of sustainability. Recent books include Social Marketing for Environmental Protection (2012, Sage), Psychology of Sustainable Development (2002, Kluwer), and Attitudes and Opinions (2005, Lawrence Erlbaum). His current work focuses on social norms, and the importance of social norms in creating effective conservation programs. Email: HGtvf3RpcGhmXH9vaW9xMnl4aQ@nospam. Website: www.csusm.edu/schultz.


Making Energy Conservation the Norm

Wesley Schultz, Professor of Psychology, California State University

Abstract: Achieving a sustainable future will require changes in human behavior. In short, the planet cannot continue to support our current levels of consumption indefinitely, and achieving a sustainable future will require that individuals change their patterns of behavior. To this end, a myriad of conservation programs have emerged in the last 30 years, with the goal of promoting conservation. But how can we best motivate individuals to act? While there are some widely accepted truths about what works, psychological science offers some new and surprisingly powerful alternatives. Examples are drawn from my work on recycling, water, and energy conservation.


Schultz, P. W. (in press). Strategies for promoting proenvironmental behavior: Lots of tools but few instructions. European Psychologist [Special Issue on Sustainability]. Doi: 10.1027/1016-


Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., & Schultz, P. W. (in press). Tailored panel management: A theorybased approach to building and maintaining participant commitment to a longitudinal study.

Evaluation Review.

McKenzie-Mohr, D., & Schultz, P. W. (in press). Choosing effective behavior change tools. Social Marketing Quarterly.

Schultz, P. W., Milfont, T., *Chance, R., *Tronu, G., Luis, S., Ando, K., Rasool, F., & Roose, P. L., Ogunbode, D., Castro, J., & Gouveia, V. (in press). Cross-cultural evidence for spatial bias in beliefs about environmental problems. Environment and Behavior. doi: 10.1177/0013916512458579

Van Vugt, M., Griskevicius, V., & Schultz, P. W. (in press). Naturally green: Harnessing “stone age” biases to foster environmental conservation behavior. Social Issues and Policy Review.

Leifländer, A., Fröhlich, G., Bogner, F., & Schultz, P. W. (in press). Promoting connectedness with nature through environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education.

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Bator, R., Tabanico, J., Walton, M., & Schultz, P. W. (in press). Energy conservation in a public space: The role of implied norms and explicit messages. Social Influence. DOI:10.1080/15534510.2013.778213

Hernandez, P. R., Schultz, P. W., Estrada, M., *Chance, R., & Woodcock, W. (2013). Sustaining optimal motivation: A longitudinal analysis of interventions to broaden participation of underrepresented students in STEM. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 89-107. doi: 10.1037/a0029691

Schultz, P. W., Bator, R., Tabanico, J., *Bruni, C., Large, L. B. (2013). Littering in context: Personal and environmental predictors of littering behavior. Environment and Behavior, 45, 35 - 59. doi: 10.1177/0013916511412179

Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., Estrada, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). The consequences of chronic stereotype threat: Domain identification and attrition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 635-646. doi: 10.1037/a0029120

*Bruni, C., *Chance, R., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). Measuring value-based environmental concerns in children: An environmental motives scale. Journal of Environmental Education, 43, 1-15.

Merolla, D., Serpe, R., Stryker, S., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). Structural precursors to identity processes: The role of proximate social structures. Social Psychology Quarterly, 75, 149- 172. DOI: 10.1177/0190272511436352. *Bruni, C., *Chance, R., Schultz, P. W., & Nolan, J. (2012). Natural connections: Bees sting and snakes bite, but they are still nature. Environment and Behavior, 44, 197-215. DOI: 10.1177/0013916511402062.

Schultz, P. W. (2011). Conservation means behavior. Conservation Biology, 25, 1080-1083.

Schultz, P. W., Hernandez, P., Woodcock, A., Estrada, M., *Chance, R., *Aguilar, M., & Serpe, R. (2011). Patching the pipeline: Reducing educational disparities in the sciences through minority training programs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33, 95-114.

Bator, R., Bryan, A., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Who gives a hoot? Intercept surveys of litterers and disposers. Environment and Behavior, 43, 295-315.

Schultz, P. W. (2011, April). The cave of truth. Score, 23(2), 4. Available online at: http://www.apa.org/divisions/div5/scoreissues.html

Nolan, J., Kenefick, J., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Normative social influence is underdetected by energy experts… unless you show them the data. Social Influence, 1-12. DOI:10.1080/15534510.2011.584786

Estrada, M., Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Toward a social influence framework that explains minority student integration into the scientific community. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 206-222.

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Lin, S., Groner, S., Jonick, T., Anderson, E., *Bruni, C., & Schultz, P. W. (2010). What’s the catch: Reducing the consumption of contaminated fish among anglers. Social Marketing Quarterly, 16.

*Göckeritz, S., Schultz, P. W., & *Rendón, T., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2010). Descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior: The moderating role of personal involvement and injunctive normative beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 514-523.

*Bruni, C., & Schultz, P. W. (2010). Implicit beliefs about self and nature: Evidence from an IAT game. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 95-102.

Schultz, P. W., & *Tabanico, J. T. (2009). Criminal beware: A social norms perspective on posting public warning signs. Criminology, 47, 1201-1222.

Schultz, P. W. (2009). Connecting with nature. Scientific American. Available online at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=moral-call-of-the-wild.

Gifford, R. et al. (2009). Temporal pessimism and spatial optimism in environmental assessments: An 18-nation study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29, 1-12.

Nolan, J., Schultz, P. W., & Knowles, E. (2009). Using public service announcements to change behavior: No more money and oil down the drain. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 1035-1056.

Kaiser, F. G., & Schultz, P. W. (2009). The attitude-behavior relationship: A test of three models of the moderating role of behavioral difficulty. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 186- 207.

Braden, J., Dozier, J., Gober, P., Maidment, D., Schneider, S., Schultz, P. W., Shortle, J., Swallow, S., & Werner, C. (2009). Social science in a water observing network. Water Resources Research, 45. W11301 , doi:10.1029/2009WR008216 .

*Nolan, J., Schultz, P. W., Cialdini, R. B., Griskevicius, V., & Goldstein, N. (2008). Normative social influence is underdetected. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 913-923.

Schultz, P. W., *Khazian, A., & *Zaleski, A. (2008). Using normative social influence to promote conservation among hotel guests. Social Influence, 3, 4-23.

Kaiser, F. G., Schultz, P. W., Berenguer, J., Corral-Verdugo, V., & Tankha, G. (2008). Extending planned environmentalism: Anticipated guilt and embarrassment across cultures. European Psychologist, 13, 288-297.

*Bruni, C. M., Fraser, J., & Schultz, P. W. (2008). The value of zoo experiences for connecting people with nature. Visitor Studies, 11(2), 139-150.

Schultz, P. W., *Nolan, J., Cialdini, R., Goldstein, N., & Griskevicius, V. (2007). The P. W. Schultz 4 constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms. Psychological Science, 18, 429-434.

Sevillano, V., Aragonés, J., & Schultz, P. W. (2007). Perspective taking, environmental concern, and the moderating role of dispositional empathy. Environment and Behavior, 35, 685- 705.

Schultz, P. W., & *Tabanico, J. (2007). Self, identity, and the natural environment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1219-1247.

Kaiser, F., Schultz, P. W., & Scheuthle, H. (2007). The theory of planned behavior without compatibility? Beyond method bias and past trivial associations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1522-1544.

Schultz, P. W., Gouveia, V., Cameron, L., Tankha, G., Schmuck, P., & Franek, M. (2005). Values and their relationship to environmental concern and conservation behavior. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36, 457-475.

Schultz, P. W., *Shriver, C., *Tabanico, J., & *Khazian, A. (2004). Implicit connections with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 31-42.

Schultz, P. W., & Zelezny, L. (2003). Reframing environmental messages to be congruent with American values. Human Ecology Review, 10, 126-136.

Schultz P. W., & Searleman, A. (2002). Rigidity of thought and behavior: 100 years of research. Psychology Monographs, 128, 165-207.

Schultz, P. W. (2001). Assessing the structure of environmental concern: Concern for self, other people, and the biosphere. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21, 1-13.

Schultz, P. W. (2000). Empathizing with nature: The effects of perspective-taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 391-406.

Schultz, P. W., Zelezny, L. C., & *Dalrymple, N. (2000). A multi-national perspective on the relationship between Judeo-Christian religious beliefs and attitudes of environmental concern. Environment and Behavior, 32, 560-575.

Schultz, P. W., Unipan, J. B., & Gamba, R. J. (2000). Acculturation and ecological worldview among Latino-Americans. Journal of Environmental Education, 31, 22-27.

Schultz, P. W., & Zelezny, L. (1999). Values as predictors of environmental attitudes: Evidence for consistency across 14 countries. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, 255-265.

Schultz, P. W. (1999). Changing behavior with normative feedback interventions: A field experiment of curbside recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21, 25-36.

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Schultz, P. W., & Berger, D. (1998). The effects of computer interfaces on computer-based statistical analysis. Behavior, Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 30, 354- 358.

Schultz, P. W., & Zelezny, L. (1998). Values and proenvironmental behavior: A five-country survey. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29, 540-558.

Schultz, P. W., & Searleman, A. (1998). Personal need for structure, the Einstellung task, and the effects of stress. Personality and Individual Differences, 24, 305-310.

Schultz, P. W., Stone, W. F., & Christie, R. (1997). Authoritarianism and mental rigidity: The Einstellung problem revisited. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 3-9.

Schultz, P. W., & Oskamp, S. (1996). Effort as a moderator of the attitude-behavior relationship: General environmental concern and recycling. Social Psychology Quarterly, 59, 375-383.

Schultz, L. A., & Schultz, P. W. (1996). Students and handguns: Attitudes, behaviors, and policies in an urban high school. Proteus, 13, 57-60.

Oskamp, S., Zelezny, L., Schultz, P. W., Hurin, S., Burkhardt, R., (1996). Commingled versus separated recycling: Does sorting matter? Environment and Behavior, 28, 73-91.

Schultz, P. W., & Oskamp, S., & Mainieri, T. (1995). Who recycles and when: A review of personal and situational factors. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 105-121.

Schultz, P. W., & Stone, W. F. (1994). Authoritarianism and attitudes toward the environment. Environment and Behavior, 26, 25-37.

Book Chapters (14 chapters):

Abrahamse, W., Steg, L., & Schultz, P. W. (in press, estimated 2014). Research designs: Conducting research on environmental issues. In R. Gifford (Ed.), Research methods for environmental psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Tabanico, J. J., Schultz, P. W., & Schmitt, J. (in press, estimated 2014). Driving change: Applying theoretical models in social marketing. In D. Stuart (Ed.), Handbook of persuasion and social marketing (Vol. 2). Praeger.

Nolan, J., & Schultz, P. W. (in press, estimated 2013). Prosocial behavior and environmental action. In D. Schroeder & W. Graziano (Eds.), Handbook of prosocial behavior. Oxford University Press.

Schultz, P. W., & Kaiser, F. G. (2012). Promoting proenvironmental behavior. In S. Clayton (Ed.), Handbook of environmental and conservation psychology (pp. 556-580). Oxford University Press.

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Keizer, K., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). The role of social norms in understanding and changing proenvironmental behaviour. In L. Steg, A. van den Berg, & J. de Groot (Eds.), Environmental psychology (pp. 153-164). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Schultz, P. W. (2010). Making energy conservation the norm. In K. Ehrhardt-Martinez & J. Laitner (Eds.), People-centered initiatives for increasing energy savings. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Online book available at: http://www.aceee.org/people-centered-energy-savings.

Sevillano, V., Aragonés, J. I., & Schultz, P. W. (2010). Beyond altruism: The motivational bases for pro-environmental behavior. In V. Corral-Verdugo, C, García-Cadena, & M. Frías- Armenta (Eds.), Psychological approaches to sustainability: Current trends in theory, research and practice. Nova Science.

Schultz, P. W., & Estrada-Hollenbeck, M. (2008). The USE of theory in applied social psychology. In L. Steg, A. P. Buunk, & J. A. Rothengatter (Eds.), Applied social  psychology: Understanding and managing social problems (pp. 28-56). Cambridge University Press.

Schultz, P. W., & *Tabanico, J. (2008). Community-based social marketing and behavior change. In A. Cabaniss (Ed.), Handbook on household hazardous waste (pp. 133-157). Lanham, MD: Government Institutes Press.

Schultz, P. W., *Tabanico, J., & *Rendón, T. (2008). Normative beliefs as agents of influence: Basic processes and real-world applications. In R. Prislin & W. Crano (Eds.), Attitudes and attitude change (pp. 385-409). New York: Psychology Press.

Oskamp, S., & Schultz, P. W. (2006). Using psychological science to achieve ecological sustainability. In S. Donaldson, D. Berger, & K. Pezdek (Eds.), Applied psychology: New frontiers and rewarding careers (pp. 81-106). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schultz, P. W. (2002). Environmental attitudes and behaviors across cultures. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), OnLine Readings in Psychology and Culture. International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Available online at: http://orpc.iaccp.org.

Schultz, P. W. (2002). Inclusion with nature: Understanding the psychology of human-nature interactions. In P. Schmuck, & P. W. Schultz (Eds.), The psychology of sustainable development (pp. 61-78). New York: Kluwer.

Schultz, P. W. (2002). Knowledge, education, and household recycling: Examining the knowledge-deficit model of behavior change. In T. Dietz & P. Stern (Eds.), New tools for environmental protection (pp. 67-82). Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences.

Grants and Awards (total of ~$7 million in grants):

Teaching Award. CSUSM. 2013. Campus-wide Distinguished Service Learning Faculty. For my course in Environmental Psychology. Also recognized for Outstanding Service Learning Community Partner, with the San Diego Safari Park.

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Boudrias, M., Estrada, M., Gershunov, A., & Silva-Send (2012-2017). CCEP II. Making Global Climate Science Local: Implementing an Effective Model to Educate Key Influentials and Community Leaders. National Science Foundation award to the University of San Diego for $5M total. P.W. Schultz as co-PI with Mica Estrada on subaward to CSUSM for $1.3M. DUE-1239797.

Schultz, P. W., & Woodcock, A. (2012 – 2016). PI. Minority access program evaluation. Endocrine Society. National Institute of General Medical Sciences. $115,629.

Estrada, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2011 – 2013). Co-PI. Annual grantees meeting for research on  interventions to promote research careers. National Institute of General Medical Sciences. 1R13-GM097936-01. $30,000.

Boudrias, M. (2010-2012). Climate science meets social psychology and strategic communications. National Science Foundation award to the University of San Diego.  $979,659, and $249,875 in supplemental “early implementation” funds. P.W. Schultz as PI on subaward to CSUSM for $244,990. Phase I: Climate Change Education Partnership. ANT-1043435.

Schultz, P. W. & Estrada, M. (2009-2013). PI. A national longitudinal evaluation of the RISE program. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. 2R01-GM075316. $1,480,000, and $294,797 in ARRA supplemental funds (3R01-

GM075316-05S1). Recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Professor award. Psi Chi honors society. CSUSM.

Schultz, P. W. (2005-2009). PI. A nationwide study of the RISE program. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. R01-GM075316. $1,770,120, and $114,063 supplement for post-doctoral fellowship.

Schultz, P. W. (2005-2008). PI. Community-based social marketing. Nonprofit Research Grant. California Integrated Waste Management Board (CalEPA). $194,347. Recipient of the Early Career in Research Award. (2005). Western Psychological Association.

Schultz, P. W. (2005-2007). PI. A social norms approach to community-based crime prevention. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. $200,000.

Schultz, P. W. (2004-2005). PI. Implicit connections with nature among children: An IAT game. Chicago, IL: Brookfield, Zoo. $23,000.

Schultz, P. W. (2003-2004). PI. Using community-based social marketing pilot projects. California Integrated Waste Management Board, California Environmental Protection Agency. $263,000.

Schultz, P. W., & Cialdini, R. (2002-2005). Co-PI. Understanding and promoting energy conservation via social norms. Hewlett Foundation. $524,000.

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Department of Psychology. (2001-2002). PI: Wesley Schultz. CSU Information Competence Initiative.

Gonzalez, G., Schultz, P. W., Grimshaw, G., & Thomas, M. (2001-2003). CSU Lottery Grant. Utilizing palmtops to enhance instruction in psychology research methods. Recipient of the 2000 CSUSM President's Award for Scholarship and Creativity.

Schultz, P. W. (1998-2001). CSUSM Faculty Fellowship in Technology. CSUSM.

Schultz, P. W. (1998). Social Science Research and Instructional Council Faculty Fellowship.

Schultz, P. W. (1996-97). Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. A cross-cultural study of environmental behaviors, policies, and values.

Schultz, P. W. (1995). Claremont Graduate University, Outstanding Dissertation Award. A field experiment on interventions to improve curbside recycling.

Schultz, P. W. (1994-95). Haynes Foundation Dissertation Grant. Community-based interventions to improve residential curbside recycling.

Positions and Professional Experience:

2005-present Professor. Department of Psychology. California State University.

2010 Sabbatical leave, Otto-Von-Guericke University, Magdeburg. Germany.

2000-2005 Associate Professor. Department of Psychology, California State University.

2003 Sabbatical leave, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands.

1997-2000 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, California State University, San Marcos. Full responsibility for undergraduate courses in social psychology, critical thinking, introductory statistics, and computers in psychology, and graduate courses in social psychology and advanced statistics. Other responsibilities included supervising masters-level graduate students, organizing undergraduate research groups, and participating on department and university-wide committees.

1995-1997 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, St. Lawrence University. Full responsibility for undergraduate courses in social psychology, environmental psychology, research methodology, introduction to psychology, and personality psychology.

Teaching Interests:

Social Psychology Attitudes and Persuasion Conservation Psychology

Introductory Statistics Advanced Statistics Social Influence

Applied Social Psychology Multivariate Statistics Social Marketing

Focused courses in statistical analyses (HLM, SEM, ANOVA, Regression, meta-analysis)

Graduate Theses and Dissertations:

Aguilar, M. (2013). Emotional contagion or emotional convergence? An analysis of two explanations for emotional assimilation in groups. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Messina, A. (2012). Normative social influence across conservation behaviors: Spillover, plasticity, and elasticity. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Tronu, G. (2012). General environmental attitudes and beliefs: Spatial bias and the NHIP scale. Tesi di Dottorato in Psicologia Ambientale. Sapienza Universita di Roma. Rome, Italy. Cotutor.

Luis, S. (2011). Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Normative influence on judgment and behavior. Universidade de Lisboa. Portugal. Doctoral evaluation committee member.

Hansla, A. (2011). Value orientation, awareness of consequences, and environmental concern. University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Opponent, doctoral evaluation committee.

Keizer, K. (2010). The spreading of disorder. University of Groningen, Netherlands. Doctoral evaluation committee member.

Chance, R. (2009). Mindset, goal orientation, and happiness among minority science students. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Hübner, G. (2008). The gift of life: Understanding organ donation behavior. Outside examiner, Habilitation. Martin-Luther Universität, Halle-Wittenberg. Germany.

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Rendón, T. (2008). Using personalized normative feedback to reduce alcohol consumption: A cross-cultural comparison. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Zaleski, A. (2007). The moderating role of personal norms and source credibility in normative social influence. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Bruni, C. (2007). Using the Implicit Association Test to explore environmental preferences in children. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Milfont, T. (2007). Psychology of environmental attitudes: A cross-cultural study of their content and structure. Doctoral dissertation, University of Auckland. Outside examiner.

Tabanico, J. (2006). Neighborhood watch, or neighborhood watch out. The effects of normative information on perceptions and fear of crime. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Woodcock, A. (2004). The role of self-efficacy in stereotype threat. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Nolan, J. (2004). Home energy conservation as a social dilemma. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Khazian, A. (2003). Promoting normative beliefs about energy conservation in a resort hotel. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.

Brown, P. (2002). Cognitive representations of self and nature. Master’s thesis, California State University. Committee Chair.