Collective guilt and attitudes toward recycling: data from a North Queensland sample

Pensini, Pamela M., and Caltabiano, Nerina J. (2012) Collective guilt and attitudes toward recycling: data from a North Queensland sample. Journal of Tropical Psychology, 2. e5. pp. 1-7.

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There is overwhelming evidence that environmental concerns currently facing the modern world are, at least partly, due to the unsustainable use of resources in developed countries. In this study, feelings of collective guilt in members of a developed nation, Australia, were investigated as a factor motivating individuals to recycle. Eighty-five participants from North Queensland (24 male, 61 female; aged 17 to 64, M = 24.16, SD = 8.42) completed self-report measures of collective guilt, social desirability, social norms, attitudes toward recycling and percentage of household rubbish recycled. As predicted, those accepting more collective guilt for the actions of their ingroup reported more favourable attitudes toward recycling. However, collective guilt failed to predict actual recycling behaviour. The same was found for social norms in that they predicted attitudes to recycling, but not the amount of rubbish recycled. Attitudes toward recycling were the only successful predictor of the amount of rubbish recycled. This study has demonstrated the role of the emotion of collective guilt and social norms in one environmentally relevant domain. Avenues for future research regarding the implications of collective guilt on ecological behaviour have been discussed.

Item ID: 26270
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1838-9902
Keywords: collective guilt; recycling; environment; attitudes; norms
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2013 00:39
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 75%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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