A few years back, a group of psychologists conducted an experiment where they placed promotional hangers on people’s front doors providing a number of reasons why it was good to save energy. Some door hangers said you should save energy because it will save you money; others said that you should save energy because it was good for the environment, and others said you should save energy because your neighbors save energy.

When asked which of these statements would likely influence their behavior, individuals generally put the fact that neighbors do it last. Indeed, most people say that whether their neighbors do something will have no effect on their decisions. You can guess the result of the psychologists’ door hanger experiment. The group that saved the most energy was the group that received information on what their neighbors do. In other words, you may truly believe that what others do doesn’t affect you, but you’d be fooling yourself. Psychologists have shown time and again that what other people do greatly influences our own behavior.