What goes where? Using visual examples to increase recycling compliance
For this upper level psychology course senior Nick Varone tested the theory of libertarian paternalism and choice architecture by using an example box to increase recycling compliance. During his 22 day study Nick found that, while the results were not statistically significant, “recycling was highly evident during the three-week study period…mixed containers and mixed paper were recycled at a moderate and high rate, respectively. Furthermore, supporting the prediction that the example box would increase recycling compliance … the average proportion of all three items changed in the hypothesized manner: the proportion of mixed containers (17.17%) and mixed paper (1.43%) to trash increased, whereas the proportion of recyclable items placed into the trash bin (-1.61%) decreased.
Facilities Management and the Campus Center staff are now considering adding additional example bins across campus.
Read Nick’s full report for details.