Implicit reminders of reputation and nature reduce littering more than explicit information on injunctive norms and monetary costs

Gangl, KatharinaORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6009-3358; Walter, AnnaORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0543-6092 and Van Lange, P.A.M. (2022) Implicit reminders of reputation and nature reduce littering more than explicit information on injunctive norms and monetary costs. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 101914. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101914

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Abstract

The present research addresses tools that could help reduce littering in society. Four interventions were tested which, based on different processes, should reduce littering: monetary information, the depicted injunctive norm, watching eyes and a nature picture. To test these interventions, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving 440 community building's waste disposal areas (N = 71,155) was conducted in Vienna. Littering was assessed before the intervention, 24–48 h after, and again seven weeks after the intervention. Results show that the financial intervention (monetary information) hardly had any effect on littering whereas the norm-based intervention (depicted injunctive norm) led to more littering compared to the control and in particular, the nature picture. In contrast, the reputation-based intervention (watching eyes) and ecology-based intervention (nature picture) reduced littering over time by 4.7%. Thus, interventions based on implicit and soft appeals to reputation and ecology are more effective in fostering clean environments than classical interventions applying explicit information on finances and norms.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: Littering, intervention, behaviour change, field experiment, implicit processes, explicit processes
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Behavioral Economics
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2022 09:49
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2023 08:07
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101914
ISSN: 0272-4944
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/6333

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