Behavioural research undertaken by Trend-Monitor clearly shows that our bathroom habits are set from a very young age and as a result are difficult to change especially as they usually take place behind a closed door.

This research led us to being approached by Kathryn Rathouse, a psychologist in the field of water efficiency, to take part in an interesting project which addresses the ‘psychology of showering’ with the goal of finding new ways of changing showering behaviour to save water, energy and plastic.

The project is being run in conjunction with The British Psychological Society, and the universities of Sheffield and Surrey, starting with two workshops attended by psychologists, researchers, water companies and shower manufacturers.

The first workshop in May 2022 was held at the University of Sheffield. This workshop assessed the insights already available from the Trend-Monitor/BMA Behind the Bathroom Door research and other existing research, and covered why people shower, duration and frequency of showering, showering in different settings ie in the gym or on holiday, behavioural differences seen by age, gender, personal circumstances. Also the social pressures that contributed to showering habits, along with identifying the habits with the most potential for change.

The second workshop in June 2022 was held the University of Surrey and highlighted successful behaviour changes in other fields eg health, recycling, transport, discussed nudging techniques that had already been tried with showering – what worked and what didn’t, and identified promising techniques that had not been tried yet.

The Psychology of Showering project continues and we’ll keep you updated as to the outcomes.

The results of this project will play a key role in understanding why we behave the way we do in the bathroom, and also the social conditioning that perpetuates our bathroom habits. Behavioural nudging and educational messaging can then be applied in an informed and measured way to gently move people towards new habits which have the result of reducing the amount of water used in the bathroom.

We were also pleased that the project used our consumer panel to gauge how long people ran the shower before getting in. See the results below

Q: After you turn on the shower, how long do you leave it to run before you get in?

Base 629 Self-Serve

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