Who recycles and when? A review of personal and situational factors

Who recycles and when? A review of personal and situational factors Despite the societal importance of reusing waste materials, few empirical studies have specifically examined recycling behaviors as differentiated from attitudes and intentions. This paper reviews the empirical studies of recycling, summarizes research findings, and identifies areas for future research. The effects on recycling behavior of both personal variables (personality, demographics, and attitudes of environmental concern) and manipulable situational variables are reviewed. Results indicate that high income is a good predictor of recycling, whereas gender and age are not. General environmental concern appears to be related to recycling only when recycling requires a high degree of effort. However, relevant specific attitudes have consistently been found to correlate with recycling behavior. The seven situational variables reviewed (prompts, public commitment, normative influence, goal setting, removing barriers, providing rewards, and feedback) all produce significant increases in recycling behavior. However, there are several major limitations to the research. Results are based largely on single-variable assessments of recycling, and fail to consider interactions with characteristics of the environment or the population involved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Environmental Psychology Elsevier

Who recycles and when? A review of personal and situational factors

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0272-4944
eISSN
1522-9610
DOI
10.1016/0272-4944(95)90019-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite the societal importance of reusing waste materials, few empirical studies have specifically examined recycling behaviors as differentiated from attitudes and intentions. This paper reviews the empirical studies of recycling, summarizes research findings, and identifies areas for future research. The effects on recycling behavior of both personal variables (personality, demographics, and attitudes of environmental concern) and manipulable situational variables are reviewed. Results indicate that high income is a good predictor of recycling, whereas gender and age are not. General environmental concern appears to be related to recycling only when recycling requires a high degree of effort. However, relevant specific attitudes have consistently been found to correlate with recycling behavior. The seven situational variables reviewed (prompts, public commitment, normative influence, goal setting, removing barriers, providing rewards, and feedback) all produce significant increases in recycling behavior. However, there are several major limitations to the research. Results are based largely on single-variable assessments of recycling, and fail to consider interactions with characteristics of the environment or the population involved.

Journal

Journal of Environmental PsychologyElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 1995

References

  • Increasing recycling in office environments: the effects of specific informative cues
    Austin, J.; Hatfield, D.; Grindle, A.; Bailey, J.
  • Social psychology and the stimulation of recycling behaviors: the block leader approach
    Burn, S.
  • Increasing community recycling with persuasive communication and public commitment
    Burn, S.M.; Oskamp, S.
  • Approaches to encouraging conservation behavior: a review and conceptual framework
    Cook, S.W.; Berrenberg, J.L.
  • The Handbook of Research Synthesis
  • Effects of probabilistic rewards on attitudes and behaviors
    Diamond, W.; Loewy, B.
  • The new environmental paradigm
    Dunlap, R.E.; Van Liere, K.D.
  • Prompting consumer behaviors for pollution control
    Geller, E.S.; Farris, J.C.; Post, D.S.
  • Development and analysis of a community-based resource recovery program
    Jacobs, H.E.; Bailey, J.S.; Crews, J.
  • Group commitment and resource conservation: two field experiments on promoting recycling
    Wang, T.H.; Katzev, R.D.
  • Facilitating paper recycling: effects of prompts, raffles, and contests
    Witmer, J.; Geller, E.S.

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