Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 1829-1844; doi:10.3390/su5051829
Article

Persuasive Normative Messages: The Influence of Injunctive and Personal Norms on Using Free Plastic Bags

1 School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Poole House, Poole, BH12 5BB, UK 2 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [661 KB, uploaded 29 April 2013 13:45 CEST]
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

Article Statistics

Load and display the download statistics.

Citations to this Article

Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

AMA Style

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.

Chicago/Turabian Style

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.

Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert