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    • Aims
      • To find methods to encourage recycling on a large scale
      • Advocacy = positive advocacy messages would increase behaviour
      • Framing = eg. explaining the benefits lead to positive attitudes and favourable behaviour
      • Message source/frame = They hypothesised that the source of the message affects attitudes eg. negative framing is better in a news story, which affects behaviour
    • Method
      • Quasi field experiment with 6 groups (3x2 design)
      • Sources of information: news/advert/ personal letter)
      • Information framing group: positively/ negatively
      • Control group didn't get any message about recycling
      • 140 households in Buffalo, USA where kerbside recycling was available. Ps' were 19-65 (mean = 35). 57% were female. They were quota-sampled to ensure diversity
    • Procedure
      • On collection day, a standardised form found how many items houses recycled and how many categories were collected eg. glass
      • The next day, researchers left an advocacy message in either 3 formats. There was no face-to-face contact
      • After 1 week, the assistant assessed the rubbish in the same way
      • After the second collection day, ps' were given a question-naire on recycling attitudes (1= definitely false, 7= definitely true) on a semantic differential scale. The questions were anonymously returned
    • Results
      • Framing = Getting a positively framed message believed advocacy messages significantly more. They led to significantly more positive recycling attitudes (especially from adverts)
      • Message source/frame = The source made no significant difference. Negative attitudes were best in news stories. Personal advocacy messages were best when positive. The biggest behaviour change came from negative personal letters
      • Advocacy = Ps' who were encouraged to recycle had a significantly more positive attitude than the control group. They recycled significantly more (increase of +3.7, controls were -0.2), and a significant number of categories
    • Conclusions
      • Ps' preferred positive messages about benefits of recycling, but this didn't always change their behaviour
      • Negative messages in letters/adverts were particularly effective
      • Positive messages led to attitude change, but negative messages led to behavioural change
      • No single way of promoting recycling, but a combination of multiple may be the most effective


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