A moral basis for recycling: Extending the theory of planned behaviour
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NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol. 36, Issue 1. (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.07.010
With evidence suggesting conservation attitudes and moral norms lack discriminant validity, the study’s aim was to test if this could be established for recycling, as well as how moral norms can extend the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). A sample of 271 participants that consisted predominantly of students was obtained for this correlational study (117 males and 154 females, M age = 24 years). Since confirmatory factor analysis indicated convergent validity (r = .69, p < .05), path analysis was conducted on a model that replaced attitudes with moral norms in the TPB. This model was found to fit the data well, with 39% and 41% of the variance in recycling intention and behaviour explained respectively. Overall, results supported the utility of appealing to moral norms as it was associated with a higher recycling intention (β = .33, 95% CI [.23, .43]), and ultimately, actual recycling.
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