Group Commitment and Resource Conservation: Two Field Experiments on Promoting Recycling

Wang, T. H. & Katzev, R. D. (1990). Group commitment and resource conservation: Two field experiments on promoting recycling. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20, 4, Part 1, 265-275.

Evaluated the effect of commitment (CM) on paper recycling. Exp 1 asked 24 elderly residents of a retirement home to sign a 4-wk group CM pledge to recycle paper. During this intervention, Ss recycled 47% more paper than they had during baseline. Ss continued to recycle at this level during a 4-wk follow-up, when the group CM was removed. Exp 2 evaluated the effectiveness of group CM, individual CM, and token reinforcers on paper recycling in 87 students in a college dormitory. Ss recycled 3-5 times more paper than controls during the 4-wk intervention. However, in the 3-wk follow-up, when treatments were removed, only individually commited Ss continued to recycle significantly more paper than controls.

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