Presentation on theme: "Promoting Recycling Behavior: What Works."— Presentation transcript:
1 Promoting Recycling Behavior: What Works. P. WESLEY SCHULTZPROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGYCALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITYOCTOBER, 2011Presentation delivered at the 2011 KAB Re:cycology symposium, Columbus, Ohio.
3 Recycling FiguresAverage American generates 4.5 pounds of trash per dayMunicipal waste (2008)Residential, commercial, institutionalNot hazardous, industrial, or constructionDiversion rates vary widelyCA at 60% diversionMany notable programsReady-Set-Recycle (competition in Alameda, CA)Fork it over! (Portland, OR)Green-Dot (Germany, and Europe)Anheuser-Bush “Brewing a Better Environment”Organics recycling in Halifax, CanadaMilwaukeeRecycles.com (Recycle for Good)
5 Community-Based Social Marketing Effective approach to behavior changeOrigins in behavioral science researchFive step, data-driven process“Community” basedRemoves barriers and enhance benefits
6 The Science of Behavior Osbaldiston & Schott (2011)Review of behavioral science40 years of data on proenvironmental behavior (35 with recycling)253 experimental treatments (primarily recycling, conservation)10 types of treatmentsDifferentiated public recycling, curbside recycling, central recycling
7 What Works. Convenience Social Modeling Prompts Cognitive Dissonance JustificationsFeedbackEducationCommitmentRewardsGoal Setting
8 What Works?Meta analysis of recycling studies, combined across three types of programs. N=41 public, N=52 curbside, N=18 central collection. Osbaldiston & Schott (2011)
9 Different Types of Recycling Meta analysis of recycling studies, combined across three types of programs. N=41 public, N=52 curbside, N=18 central collection.
10 1. Information is (generally) Not Sufficient Knowledge-deficit modelKnowledge is (often) correlated with behaviorEducation and information can increase knowledgeIncreasing knowledge will (typically) not result in behavior change.Well-known among behavioral scientists for 50 years. Health. Safety. Energy.
11 2. Pledges and Commitments Can be a very useful tool for promoting recycling.Public and durableSpecific (time, place, material)Be mindful of individuals who choose not to sign.
12 2. Pledges and Commitments “We, the residents of the 2nd floor, are willing to participate in the paper recycling project sponsored by the Reed College Environmental Group. It is understood that any recyclable paper can be placed in the “RECYCLE” garbage can. We commit ourselves to participating in this recycling project for the next four weeks.” – Wang & Katzev47% increase in the volume of recycled material.
13 47% increase in the volume of recycled material.
14 47% increase in the volume of recycled material. I PLEDGE TO:Learn. about the recycling option in my community. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community at americarecyclesday.org.
15 47% increase in the volume of recycled material. I PLEDGE TO:Act. Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will start to recycle one new type of material.
16 Incentives can change behavior 3. Financial IncentivesIncentives can change behaviorWill hear more from John Thogersen tomorrowBut:Framing behavior as transaction creates expectationsBehavior and context specificSize mattersUndermining
17 Reduce uncertainty (shapes of the holes, signage) 4. InfrastructureMake it EASYReduce uncertainty (shapes of the holes, signage)Allow people to anticipateEntry and exit locationsProximal to behaviorRemove barriersfor example, lids
18 Will hear more from Carol Werner tomorrow. 5. SignageWill hear more from Carol Werner tomorrow.Signs can make a big difference (both positive AND negative)Positive, simple behavior, already motivated, prompts, proximalMindful of contextual norm
19 Can have a role, but perhaps limited 6. PersuasionCan have a role, but perhaps limited“Behaving people into thinking differently”Some evidence for personal norms (moral obligation).Hard to promote through messaging, better to induce behavior first
20 Social Norms Social Norms In our analyses of curbside recycling, we found that even when controlling for demographic characteristics of the neighborhood, there was a strong clustering effect (ICC).Social Norms
21 Normative Social Influence --Curbside recycling
22 7. Social Norms Curbside recycling (Schultz, 1999) Mandated by most CA cities in order to meet 50% diversion requirements set by State.Field experiment with 600 households for 8 weeksInformation, no treatment control, descriptive normative feedbackBaseline (4 weeks), intervention (4 weeks), follow-up (4 weeks)
23 Normative-based Messages Normative FeedbackInformation OnlyNo Treatment (control)Change from baseline to follow-up for the normative feedback condition is significant (p<.05), and corresponds to a 19% increase in recycling rates!Source: Schultz, P. W. (1999). Changing behavior with normative feedback interventions: A field experiment of curbside recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21,
24 Recycling is a behavior ConclusionsRecycling is a behaviorBehavioral scientists have been studying recycling for 35+ yearsSome clear lessonsEncourage programs to draw on this knowledgeGet to know your local behavioral scientist
25 Social Norms Social Norms In our analyses of curbside recycling, we found that even when controlling for demographic characteristics of the neighborhood, there was a strong clustering effect (ICC).Social Norms
26 ReferencesBator, R., Bryan, A., & Schultz, P. W. (2011). Who gives a hoot? Intercept surveys of litterers and disposers. Environment and Behavior, 43,Osbaldiston, R., & Schott, J. (in press). Environmental sustainability and behavioral science: Meta-analysis of pro-environmental behavior. Environment and Behavior.Schultz, P. W., Bator, R., Tabanico, J., Bruni, C., Large, L. B. (in press). Littering in context: Personal and environmental predictors of littering behavior. Environment and Behavior.Schultz, P. W., Khazian, A., & Zaleski, A. (2008). Using normative social influence to promote conservation among hotel guests. Social Influence, 3, 4-23.Schultz, P. W. (1999). Changing behavior with normative feedback interventions: A field experiment of curbside recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21,Schultz, P. W., & Kaiser, F. G. (in press, estimated 2011). Promoting proenvironmental behavior. In S. Clayton (Ed.), Handbook of environmental psychology. Oxford University Press. Oskamp, S., Zelezny, L., Schultz, P. W., Hurin, S., Burkhardt, R., (1996). Commingled versus separated recycling: Does sorting matter? Environment and Behavior, 28, Schultz, P. W., & Oskamp, S., & Mainieri, T. (1995). Who recycles and when: A review of personal and situational factors. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15,
27 Don’t Throw in the Towel! -The Carlsbad Beach Resort, located a block from the ocean, consists of 62 hotel rooms and 132 time share units.-The resort caters to middle-upper class individuals, and hotel rooms range from $175 - $250-For statistical and methodological purposes, the decision was made to implement the program in the hotel rooms-The program would replace an old program, which was relatively ineffective.Note: My appreciation to the team of CSUSM students who worked on this experiment: Azar Khazian, Michelle Hynan, Joy Francisco, Christine Jarvis, and Jenny Tabanico.
28 Old Message:-The old program involved a message placed on a door hanger, which used a sort of “throw in the kitchen sink” approach, by appealing to various motives in a request for guests to reuse towels-I wanted to develop messages that were more focused, and that targeted specific types of social norms, and see which was most effective by tracking towel usage among rooms with the varying messages
29 Different Rooms-During the first two weeks of the baseline data collection, I decided to shadow the staff on their cleaning rounds.-This offered me an opportunity to better understand their procedures, to build a rapport with them and thus get them invested in the project, and to assess the different types of rooms for matching purposes.
31 Social Norm Messages-By July 15th, the signs were ready to go in the rooms.-The signs were identical to the messages used in the pilot study (show actual signs)
32 Hotel InterventionStudy focused on 132 condo units (separate studies of hotel)Randomly assigned rooms to experimental (N=102) or control (N=30)Total of 794 guest “stays” were analyzed (each stay = 1 week)Number of towels taken from the room (continuous up to 4)-2nd bullet: signs were placed in rooms by researcher and housekeeping supervisor-After 2nd bullet: As with the baseline data collection, data was recorded daily by the staff, and collected weekly by myself-End: The intervention ended on October 31st
33 Results Number of towels taken out of the room on the first towel replacement day. F(1,792)=13.40; p<.001). A 25% reduction in the number of towels used!Note: Data also tested in HLM with participant “nested” within room. ICC=.07; At level 2, treatment effect ( γ01=-.57, t(142.14)=-3.25, p<.001)