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Persuasive Normative Messages: The Influence of Injunctive and Personal Norms on Using Free Plastic Bags
School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Poole House, Poole, BH12 5BB, UK
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, PO Box 3050, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2013; in revised form: 11 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
Abstract: In this exploratory field-study, we examined how normative messages (i.e., activating an injunctive norm, personal norm, or both) could encourage shoppers to use fewer free plastic bags for their shopping in addition to the supermarket’s standard environmental message aimed at reducing plastic bags. In a one-way subjects-design (N = 200) at a local supermarket, we showed that shoppers used significantly fewer free plastic bags in the injunctive, personal and combined normative message condition than in the condition where only an environmental message was present. The combined normative message did result in the smallest uptake of free plastic bags compared to the injunctive and personal normative-only message, although these differences were not significant. Our findings imply that re-wording the supermarket’s environmental message by including normative information could be a promising way to reduce the use of free plastic bags, which will ultimately benefit the environment.
Keywords: normative influence; norms; injunctive norms; personal norms; message framing; sustainable behavior
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de Groot, J.I.; Abrahamse, W.; Jones, K. Persuasive Normative Messages: The Influence of Injunctive and Personal Norms on Using Free Plastic Bags. Sustainability 2013, 5, 1829-1844.
de Groot JI, Abrahamse W, Jones K. Persuasive Normative Messages: The Influence of Injunctive and Personal Norms on Using Free Plastic Bags. Sustainability. 2013; 5(5):1829-1844.
de Groot, Judith I.; Abrahamse, Wokje; Jones, Kayleigh. 2013. "Persuasive Normative Messages: The Influence of Injunctive and Personal Norms on Using Free Plastic Bags." Sustainability 5, no. 5: 1829-1844.