The Unintended Effects of a Posted Sign on Littering Attitudes and Stated Intentions

Horsley, A. D. (1988). The unintended effects of a posted sign on littering attitudes and stated intentions. Journal of Environmental Education, 19, 3, 10-14.

The effects of an anti-littering sign that read "We treat litterbugs like all insects" were compared with those for a sign that read "Please save our landscape; don't litter." Ss were 245 college students, studying the natural environment and 99 noncollege adults visiting a state park. The Ss analyzed the signs and responded to a 7-item attitude questionnaire (before or after analyzing the 2 signs). Results suggest that the ambiguously worded "litterbug" sign was interpreted differently by individuals within the various groups and also that it did not encourage an antilittering attitude, nor did it affect stated intentions to litter.

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