Some difficulties and inconsistencies when using habit strength and reasoned action variables in models of metered household water conservation Academic Article uri icon


  • Research employing household water consumption data has sought to test models of water demand and conservation using variables from attitude theory. A significant, albeit unrecognised, challenge has been that attitude models describe individual-level motivations while consumption data is recorded at the household level thereby creating inconsistency between units of theory and measurement. This study employs structural equation modelling and moderated regression techniques to addresses the level of analysis problem, and tests hypotheses by isolating effects on water conservation in single-person households. Furthermore, the results question the explanatory utility of habit strength, perceived behavioural control, and intentions for understanding metered water conservation in single-person households. For example, evidence that intentions predict water conservation or that they interact with habit strength in single-person households was contrary to theoretical expectations. On the other hand, habit strength, self-reports of past water conservation, and perceived behavioural control were good predictors of intentions to conserve water.

publication date

  • January 2013