Title

Effect of paper size and condition on recycling

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Event

Faculty Mentor Name

Carolynn Kohn

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Nationwide, paper products make up 71 million tons or 29% of municipal waste (EPA, 2016). Trudel and Argo (2013) investigated the association between particular characteristics of paper and aluminum cans on the likelihood individuals would recycle them. In their first series of experiments, Trudel & Argo (2013) evaluated the effect of paper size and cutting of paper and found 82% of participants recycled uncut large pieces of paper; whereas only 44% recycled small pieces of paper. In a separate experiment examining small (7 oz) and regular sized (12 oz) aluminum cans that were either dented or undented, the researchers found ~83% of participants recycled large and undented cans; whereas only ~16% of participants recycled large and dented cans, while ~47% of participants recycled small and undented cans. However, it is unclear whether individuals are less likely to recycle other types of “damaged” paper (e.g., crumpled). The purpose of the current study is to replicate and extend Trudel and Argo’s (2013) methodology. The replication will involve conducting the same study as described, but with the addition of a crumpled piece of paper (i.e., analogous to a “dented” can). Participants will be assigned to one of four conditions based on whether participants cut the paper and whether the paper is crumpled: (1) no cut smooth paper, (2) cut smooth paper, (3) no cut crumpled paper, and (4) cut crumpled paper. To reduce reactivity, participants will not be told this is a study about recycling. Instead, participants will be asked to evaluate a pair of scissors. Results should provide information regarding possible effects product characteristics may have on participants’ recycling behavior. Furthermore, reliability of Trudel and Argo’s (2013) results will be examined by replicating their methodology. Data will be collected and analyzed to help determine if product characteristics influence participant behavior.

Location

Vereschagin Alumni House

Start Date

3-5-2020 5:30 PM

End Date

3-5-2020 6:30 PM

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May 3rd, 5:30 PM May 3rd, 6:30 PM

Effect of paper size and condition on recycling

Vereschagin Alumni House

Nationwide, paper products make up 71 million tons or 29% of municipal waste (EPA, 2016). Trudel and Argo (2013) investigated the association between particular characteristics of paper and aluminum cans on the likelihood individuals would recycle them. In their first series of experiments, Trudel & Argo (2013) evaluated the effect of paper size and cutting of paper and found 82% of participants recycled uncut large pieces of paper; whereas only 44% recycled small pieces of paper. In a separate experiment examining small (7 oz) and regular sized (12 oz) aluminum cans that were either dented or undented, the researchers found ~83% of participants recycled large and undented cans; whereas only ~16% of participants recycled large and dented cans, while ~47% of participants recycled small and undented cans. However, it is unclear whether individuals are less likely to recycle other types of “damaged” paper (e.g., crumpled). The purpose of the current study is to replicate and extend Trudel and Argo’s (2013) methodology. The replication will involve conducting the same study as described, but with the addition of a crumpled piece of paper (i.e., analogous to a “dented” can). Participants will be assigned to one of four conditions based on whether participants cut the paper and whether the paper is crumpled: (1) no cut smooth paper, (2) cut smooth paper, (3) no cut crumpled paper, and (4) cut crumpled paper. To reduce reactivity, participants will not be told this is a study about recycling. Instead, participants will be asked to evaluate a pair of scissors. Results should provide information regarding possible effects product characteristics may have on participants’ recycling behavior. Furthermore, reliability of Trudel and Argo’s (2013) results will be examined by replicating their methodology. Data will be collected and analyzed to help determine if product characteristics influence participant behavior.