The Effect of Product Size and Form Distortion on Consumer Recycling Behavior
42 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 3, 2012
The present research examines conditions under which consumers’ dispose of recyclable products in the garbage. Results from a field study and four laboratory studies demonstrate that a consumer’s decision to recycle a product or throw it in the trash can be determined by the extent to which the product has been distorted during the consumption process. Specifically, if the consumption process distorts a product sufficiently from its original form (i.e., changes its size and/or form), consumers perceive it as less useful and in turn are more likely to throw it in the garbage (as opposed to recycle it). These findings point to important outcomes of the consumption process that have largely been ignored and provide initial insight into the psychological processes influencing recycling behavior.
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