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Using self- and direct persuasion to reduce food waste: Consumer food waste and values

With a growing population and an increase in food waste, research is needed to examine consumer behaviour and the effectiveness of marketing strategies to reduce household food waste. I examined the effectiveness of persuasion on participants' intentions to reduce their food waste, controlling for the influence of environmental values. Based on the sample of food waste from 481 United States MTurk participants, I experimentally manipulated message framing using self-persuasion (n = 181), direct persuasion (n = 150), and no persuasion (n = 150). With the results showing ceiling effects across conditions, I was unable to confirm the effectiveness of self-persuasion (M = 96.42), direct persuasion (M = 96.12), or no persuasion (M = 96.18) on intentions to reduce food waste. Further analysis revealed that self persuasion significantly and positively predicted the intent to reduce food waste for participants who reported strongly endorsing self transcendence (altruistic and biospheric) values, but not for those who endorsed self enhancement (egoistic) values. Direct persuasion significantly and negatively predicted intentions to reduce food waste for participants who reported strongly endorsing self enhancement values. My study contributes towards sustainable marketing research. The results provide marketers with information about adapting marketing approaches to suit the behavioural preferences of consumers. In addressing the limitations of this research, I advised that future researchers follow the recommendations in this study to contribute to achieving sustainable behaviour change.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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