Recycling and Motivation - Very Interesting

Recycling and Motivation - Very Interesting -...

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Recycling: Why People Participate; Why They Don’t A Barrier/Motivation Inventory: The Basis of Community-Based Social Marketing Introduction Understanding what motivates people to recycle and what discourages them from doing so is the first step towards increasing participation. Social science research on recycling behavior makes an important contribution to this understanding. In order to identify the barriers and motivations that are related to people’s recycling habits, social scientists ask recyclers and non-recyclers questions about a wide variety of factors that might influence their recycling behavior. They then use statistical methods to determine which of these factors are linked to recycling participation and which are not. If you follow the news, you know that scientific studies are not always in agreement. Is margarine good for you or bad for you? High fiber foods lower your cholesterol. Then again, maybe they don’t. Estrogen supplements have valuable benefits. But, the dangers might outweigh the benefits. The sorting, sifting and weighing of sometimes contradictory, sometimes confirming evidence is part of the process by which scientists arrive at recommendations regarding health issues. Similarly, in identifying the factors that influence participation in recycling programs, it is important to look at patterns that emerge across numerous studies, rather than relying on the results from a single study. Here are some broad patterns that emerge from social science research on recycling behavior. Motivations The factors below are seen to contribute to an increase in people’s participation in recycling programs. Perceived Effectiveness of Recycling. The more that people see recycling as effective, the more likely they are to participate, or to participate more fully. 1 Residents of Claremont, California were asked the question, “How effective do you think recycling can be as a means of reducing trash sent to the dump?” Frequent recyclers rated recycling as more effective than infrequent recyclers. 2 Reseachers in LaVerne, California, a residential suburb of Los Angeles, explored the link between observed recycling behavior and individuals’ “belief in/knowledge of the benefits of recycling.” These benefits include: Extension of the supply of natural resources; Litter reduction; Improvement of environmental quality; Preservation of landfill space; Energy conservation and Resolution of a national problem The researchers concluded that, ". ...residents who believed more strongly in the benefits of recycling were more likely to be participants in the recycling program." 3 A Massachusetts statewide phone survey revealed that people who did not consistently recycle any of four target materials examined in the study were significantly less likely to agree that recycling is good for society than were more avid recyclers. 4
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This note was uploaded on 03/03/2011 for the course ENG 11011 taught by Professor Dr.susant.lord during the Spring '08 term at Kent State.

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Recycling and Motivation - Very Interesting -...

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