A social dilemma perspective on recycling

Ada L.Y. Lee, Gerard P PRENDERGAST*, Frederick H K YIM, Lawrence Choi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research on social responsibility has largely focused on firms, with only limited research into individual behavior. Recycling is socially responsible behavior which poses a difficult choice for consumers because it benefits society as a whole in the long term but involves a personal cost and does not benefit the individual consumer directly. Previous studies of recycling, however, have only partly explained consumers’ recycling choices. Addressing this gap, this research applied a social dilemma perspective in qualitative and quantitative consumer studies. The findings from the studies demonstrated a positive relationship between a consumer's expectation that others will recycle and his own participation. A social value orientation was found to have a significant moderating effect on this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology


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