SCE Webinar: The End of the Rubber Ruler

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Education and outreach programs all claim to be effective in increasing knowledge and improving behavior, but the energy efficiency industry has been trying the measure E&O program effectiveness with “rubber rulers”: every E&O program seems to use a different baseline and custom metric. In collaboration with leading social scientists, SCE’s Emerging Technologies program has begun the process of validating a set of survey tools that allow us to standardize the ways we measure E&O program effectiveness. This energy intervention evaluation toolkit allows us to directly to compare dimensions of energy behavior, knowledge, and attitude changes across time, across programs, and across customer populations.

Join us for a presentation of this toolkit by two of the scientists who developed and are working to refine these tools, Dr. Cindy Frantz of Oberlin College and Dr. Beth Karlin of USC. They will discuss:

  1. Why you can’t create a good survey by just writing down a list of questions.
  2. What it means to “validate” a survey instrument, and why we need to do it.
  3. The preliminary modules in the toolkit and what they can measure.
  4. Where the survey items came from.
  5. How the toolkit can be used in E&O evaluations.


3:00 - 3:10 Introduction by Edwin Hornquist and Miriam Fischlein, SCE

3:10 - 3:40 Presentation by Dr. Cindy Frantz and Dr. Beth Karlin

3:40 - 4:00 Q&A


Cindy Frantz, Ph.D. (

Cindy McPherson Frantz is Professor of Psychology at Oberlin College.  Her research focuses on potential for feedback technology to encourage conservation behavior and promote systems thinking.  She also directs the Community Based Social Marketing Research Project, a collaborative research program between faculty, students and staff to develop, test and promote behavior change programs that reduce Oberlin College’s carbon emissions.  Frantz is coauthor of the Connectedness to Nature Scale, one of the most widely used measures in environmental psychology.  It has been used world-wide and translated into dozens of languages.

Beth Karlin, Ph.D. (

Beth Karlin founded the SEE Change Institute in Spring 2015 with the goal of blending the knowledge gained from nearly a decade in graduate school and postdoctoral training with the wisdom earned from a decade in the trenches of the nonprofit and educational systems. In addition to her work at SEE Change, Beth is the founding director of the Transformational Media Lab at the University of California, Irvine and Research Director at the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, where she studies the role of new media and technology in social and environmental change. Current projects investigate a wide variety of topics, including public acceptance of new technology, home energy management, and documentary film campaigns. She has published her work in venues ranging from Psychological Bulletin to Peace Studies (as well as some that don’t start with the letter “p”) and lectures regularly on Transformational Media and the Psychology of Sustainability. Before receiving her Ph.D. in Social Ecology, Beth spent nearly a decade working in K-12 education, holding positions as a teacher, counselor, and school administrator. She believes that the role of a researcher is not only to better understand the world but also to improve it and hopes that her work is able to serve both purposes.

Link to Recording: The End of the Rubber Ruler - April 12, 2016

via Webinar
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