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Environmental Psychology – Recycling Behaviours

1. Lord (1994)

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about Kenneth Lord’s 1994 paper investigating motivations for recycling behaviours, focusing in particular on: (i) the research-backed phenomenon that people are more likely to accept positively framed messaging; (ii) the influences considered, within Lord’s paper, of the source of the message being presented; (iii) the different attitude and belief changing processes, considered to be cognitive processes investigated in this study; (iv) the definition of a quasi-experimental design being a study wherein participants are not randomly allocated to the experimental conditions; (v) a key weakness of this study being its relatively small (140) participant number; (vi) key strengths of this study being the fact that it is a field study, as well as it having an objective measure of behaviour to record; (vii) Lord’s confirmed hypotheses that recycling messages will improve recycling behaviour, that negatively framed messages will be less effective, that information from a trusted source is most likely to be effective (but not by as much as had been predicted), and that behaviour change is most affected by persuasive communication from a personally relevant source; (viii) the theory of planned behaviour and the theory of reasoned action.


In this course, Professor Birgitta Gatersleben (University of Surrey) explores recycling behaviours and messaging. In the first lecture, we think about the design and findings of Lord’s 1994 study. In the second lecture, we think about types of persuasive communication in the context of environmental messaging. In the third lecture, we think about methods of behavioural change. Next, we think about social influence factors, including injunctive and descriptive norms. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about pro-environmental behaviours and how they differ from environmentally significant behaviours.


Professor Birgitta Gatersleben is a professor of environmental psychology in the School of Psychology and Environmental Psychology Research Group at the University of Surrey. Professor Gatersleben’s research interests are in sustainability, urban living, environmental stress, and wellbeing. Some of Professor Gatersleben’s recent publications include 'The Use of Virtual Reality in Environment Experiences and the Importance of Realism' (2021) and '#Springwatch #WildMorningswithChris: Engaging with Nature via Social Media and Wellbeing During the Covid-19 Lockdown' (2021).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gatersleben, B. (2022, May 31). Environmental Psychology – Recycling Behaviours - Lord (1994) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gatersleben, B. "Environmental Psychology – Recycling Behaviours – Lord (1994)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 May 2022,

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