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Environmental Psychology – Recycling Behaviours

2. Persuasion

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about persuasion, specifically the types of appeals used in Lord (1994), focusing in particular on: (i) Sigmund Freud’s proposal that individuals do not process information that can be deemed threatening, linking to the lack of response to negatively framed messaging; (ii) modern research, which challenges the effectiveness of ‘fear appeals’; (iii) terror management theory, which suggests that people who are faced with their own mortality do less processing of incoming information and rely more on their own internal views and values; (iv) research findings that messages which threatened the identity of a ‘good parent’ were the least likely to have an impact on behaviour due to an avoidance of processing that information and resistance to its influence; (v) cognitive dissonance as the perceived difference between behaviour and beliefs.


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 - Persuasion [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gatersleben, B. "Environmental Psychology – Recycling Behaviours – Persuasion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 May 2022,

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