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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Negative consequences of gaining personal control: Would consumers prefer a conditional recycling reward in favour of the environment?

Published: May 27, 2020


Xisi Yang, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management/Chair of Marketing Management; John Th√łgersen, Aarhus University


monetary incentive; recycling intention; personal control


Many studies have examined the positive effects of perceived personal control in the purchase context. However, evidenced adverse effects still remain little explored in an experimental setting with regard to environmental behaviours. This study targets the research gap by testing a conditional monetary reward for recycling that can be only spent on green choices compared to a standard reward and a green message. In a pre-test with Chinese consumers (N=78), we have identified significant differences between incentive types: Conditional reward leads to lowest perceived control, but highest perceived likelihood of obtaining better environment compared to standard reward and green message. Results show that conditional reward has a significant positive effect on recycling intention via the mediator perceived likelihood of obtaining better environment. In contrast, environmental message is ineffective to increase recycling intention. These results suggest incentive designers using monetary rewards determined for green choices.