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The Effect of Product Size and Form Distortion on Consumer Recycling Behavior

Remi Trudel and Jennifer J. Argo
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 4 (December 2013), pp. 632-643
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/671475
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671475
Page Count: 12
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The Effect of Product Size and Form Distortion on Consumer Recycling Behavior
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Abstract

The present research examines conditions under which consumers dispose of recyclable products in the garbage. Results from a field study and four laboratory studies demonstrate that a consumer’s decision to recycle a product or throw it in the trash can be determined by the extent to which the product has been distorted during the consumption process. Specifically, if the consumption process distorts a product sufficiently from its original form (i.e., changes in size or form), consumers perceive it as less useful and in turn are more likely to throw it in the garbage (as opposed to recycle it). These findings point to important outcomes of the consumption process that have largely been ignored and provide initial insight into the psychological processes influencing recycling behavior.

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