When do recycling attitudes predict recycling? An investigation of self-reported versus observed behavior

Ann Hergatt Huffman, Brittney R. Van Der Werff, Jaime B. Henning, Kristen Watrous-Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine differences between the role of social influence and worldview (i.e., anthropocentrism) in self-reported and observed recycling behavior. Based on self-determination theory, we suggest social influence prompts a sense of controlled regulation, moderating the relationship between attitudes and self-report recycling behavi∨ whereas ecological worldviews prompt a sense of autonomous regulation, moderating the relationship between attitudes and observed recycling behavior. Both a laboratory-based paradigm and survey were administered to 108 participants. Results indicate that self-reported and observed recycling behavior are correlated, but not strongly. Additionally, results showed that social influence moderates the relationship between recycling attitudes and self-reported recycling behavior, but not observed behavior. Conversely, anthropocentrism moderates the relationship between recycling attitudes and observed recycling behavior, but not self-reported behavior. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Ecological worldview
  • Observed behavior
  • Recycling
  • Recycling behavior
  • Self-determination theory
  • Self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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