Society for Consumer Psychology

SCP Boutique Conference

The Climate Change Challenge

March 2, 2023

Caribe Hilton Resort
San Juan, PR

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About the Climate Change Challenge

Directly preceding the SCP Annual Conference on March 2, SCP will be hosting an invitation-only boutique conference focused on climate change in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Attendees will refine the ideas generated for a large-scale, open-submission, field experiment on sustainability. The event will be co-chaired be Rajesh Chandy, Szu-chi Huang, and Gita Johar.

We are grateful to our sponsors for the event: Society for Consumer Psychology, Columbia Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development.

Supporting Documents and FAQ's

Watch the Informational Webinar


SCP Large-Scale Open-Submission Field Experiments on Sustainability
Call for Intervention Ideas

The Society of Consumer Psychology is seeking intervention ideas to tackle the challenge of climate change!

What is a large-scale open-submission field experiment? The field experiment recruits intervention ideas from a larger set of researchers all focusing on solving the same problem. The benefits of a field experiment of this format and size are

  1. High efficiency. The experiment can test 10+ ideas at once.
  2. Low cost. These 10+ ideas share the same partnership and research setup, keeping the cost low. The partnership, data management, and participant engagement are managed by one research team through a single infrastructure.
  3. Unique data insights. The experiment cleanly compares the relative effectiveness of 10+ ideas through randomization, extrapolating the most effective solution(s) for the partner.

SCP field experiment partners and missions: SCP has two field experiment partners:

  1. Break Free from Plastic (Read more about Break Free from Plastic here). The key focus for BFFP in 2023-24 is to shift away from the old plastic narrative that plastic is safe, expose industry players who continue to fight for business as usual (e.g., single use), and encourage governments to do their job to protect people and the environment. This intervention focuses on reducing plastic pollution and encouraging reusing/refilling as real solutions to the plastic pollution problem.
  2. Dharma Life (Read more about Dharma Life here). Dharma Life promotes causes that improve lives and livelihoods in rural India. It does so by identifying and equipping female entrepreneurs (known as Dharma Life Entrepreneurs) who in turn drive positive change in the thinking and actions of those in their own and in neighboring villages. This intervention focuses on promoting the cause of tree-planting through Dharma Life Entrepreneurs.

SCP field experiment submission guideline:

  1. Submission link. Researchers interested in participating in these field experiments will submit their ideas via this submission link. When submitting the ideas, researchers will indicate whether the ideas are for the first partner, the second partner, or both
  2. Submission content.
    •  For the first partner Break Free from Plastic, the intervention message will be featured in their e-newsletter. The submission content should include:
      1. a subject line (30 characters max)
      2. a short paragraph advocating for taking actions to reduce plastic pollution (150 words max)
      3. a visual to accompany the text (visual is optional; image shouldn’t be larger than 50 MB or smaller than 100KB; image should not have copyright restrictions, should be free for advocacy use and submitted with proper visual credit).
    • For the second partner Dharma Life, the intervention message will be WhatsApp messages and scripts for the entrepreneurs to use as they encourage behaviors associated with tree-planting. The submission content should include:
      1. a WhatsApp message (in the form of text or as a visual; text should be 150 words max, and visual should be around 750 x 1334 px in JPG or PNG; image should not have copyright restrictions)
      2. a script to be used by Dharma Life Entrepreneurs for in-person gatherings to communicate the cause of tree-planting (300 words max).

3.     Selection process. Our research assistants will review submitted interventions to check whether they satisfy the requirements for interventions; we will notify you if your intervention does not satisfy the requirements and work with you, within reason, to revise the intervention so that it is eligible. Each qualified intervention will be reviewed by 1-3 experts from the Selection Committee based on the following criteria: (1) expected success of the intervention, (2) novelty of the intervention relative to academic literature, and (3) uniqueness of the intervention relative to other submissions. The Selection Committee will select the most promising 10+ interventions for each field experiment.

4.     Implementation.

    1. For the first partner Break Free from Plastic, the selected 10+ intervention messages will be incorporated into BFFP’s e-newsletter in 2023 and be randomized and delivered to their subscribers. BFFP has 6950 e-newsletter subscribers across 156 countries (See breakdown here). Based on BFFP historical data, the email open rate is about 20-25%. Most members access e-newsletters via desktop. The e-newsletter goes out on Tuesday to Thursday for the highest open rate.
    2. In parallel, the same 10+ BFFP e-newsletters will be randomized and delivered to another 10,000 adults pre-screened from a large subject pool. These adults will be selected on concern about environmental issues (answering 4-5 on a 5-point scale from 1 = “not at all concerned” to 5 = “very concerned”) and belief in climate change (answering yes in a multiple-choice question of “yes / no / don’t know / not applicable (rather not say)”).
    3. For the second partner Dharma Life, the selected 10+ intervention messages will be randomized and delivered through WhatsApp messages and as scripts to 16,000+ Dharma Life Entrepreneurs. Dharma Life Entrepreneurs will then reach out to villagers to increase reach and engagement.

Outcome variables for the first field experiment with Break Free from Plastic:

  1. Signing a petition. The intervention message will be used to prompt recipients to sign a petition, found here:
    Add your name to tell world leaders to support a legally binding global treaty on plastic pollution that addresses the entire life cycle of plastics, including extraction, production, transport, use, disposal, and remediation here today!
  2. Conducting a home brand audit. The newsletter will be used to prompt recipients to sign up for a home audit:
    Take the first step in reducing plastic pollution by conducting a home brand audit to identify top polluting brands inside YOUR homes! Read more about brand audit and sign up here.
  3. Follow-up Survey. All participants will be invited to take a follow-up survey a month later. Incentives will be provided through a raffle for taking the follow-up survey. The survey questions will include awareness, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward plastic pollution.

Outcome variables for the second field experiment with Dharma Life:

  1. Task acceptance. Take up of tree-planting task by Dharma Life Entrepreneur. Measured by affirmative response to campaign outreach by Dharma Life.
  2. Reach. Number of villagers contacted by Dharma Life Entrepreneur on WhatsApp and in person.
  3. Engagement. Relevant responses by villagers to call to action, measured through the text responses in response to WhatsApp campaign and responses shared during in-person gatherings.
  4. Implementation (short term). Number of trees planted
  5. Implementation (medium term). Number of surviving trees after 6 months (tracked periodically via photos)

Key deadlines:

  1. The submission deadline for intervention ideas is January 31st, 2023.
  2. The selection committee will select top intervention ideas and invite these researchers to attend the SCP Pre-Conference on Sustainability on March 2nd, 2023, in Puerto Rico to further refine these ideas.
  3. After idea refinement, the field experiments will be launched in the spring.

Questions? Please email Szu-chi Huang (Chair, Education and Training, SCP) and Gita Johar (President, SCP) at