Preprint version. Published in Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 16, Issue 1, February 1, 1986, pages 29-41.
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Increasing Community Recycling with Persuasive Communication and Public Commitment , Shawn M. Burn and Stuart Oskamp,Journal of Applied Social Psychology , 16:1, Copyright © 1986 V. H. Winston & Sons, Inc.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Shawn M. Burn was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1986.tb02276.x.
Persuasive communication and public commitment were used to encourage recycling in a citywide program. The persuasive communication was a combination of factors which have been found by laboratory researchers to produce attitude and/ or behavior change. The public commitment manipulation involved signing a statement supportive of recycling. Households which did not recycle during a 6- week baseline period were selected for experimental study. Trained Boy Scouts made an oral informational statement and then gave each of 201 experimental households one of three treatments (a written persuasive communication, public commitment, or both). A control group of 132 homes received no treatment. Recycling was observed for 6 weeks following delivery of all treatments. Results indicated that the three treatment groups recycled significantly more than the control group but did not differ significantly from each other. Future directions for applied work in this domain are discussed.