2022 Summer AMA Academic Conference

We’re very excited to be back in person at this year’s Summer AMA! The full conference program is available here. CBSIG will be holding a special session at the conference:

New Insights on Product Disposal, Presented by the AMA Consumer Behavior Special Interest Group
Saturday, August 13th, 2:00-3:15 pm Central time (Michigan A)
Session co-chair: Mathew Isaac, Seattle University

Recycle right: How to increase recycling accuracy without decreasing recycling rates?
Gergana Nenkov* and Megan Hunger, Boston College

Researchers from many disciplines have studied how to increase recycling and recycling initiatives and recommendations abound, but do consumers know how to recycle right? This project aims to shift the recycling conversation from encouraging recycling to increasing recycling accuracy. A longitudinal field study and two experiments testing recycling behavior in the lab provide evidence that an approach-focused point-of-disposal informational signage (“Recycle these items”) can inadvertently increase overinclusive recycling and wishcycling, whereas avoidance-focused signage (“Do not recycle these items”) increases recycling accuracy, but decreases recycling altogether. Mixed signage combining both strategies shows most promise in increasing accuracy without discouraging recycling altogether.

Replace or Repair? How Companies Can Signal Unused Utility and Decrease Product Replacement
Nathan Brent Allred and Karen Page Winterich*, Penn State University
This research proposes that original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair service can decrease consumers unsustainable tendency to replace rather than repair products relative to traditional third party repair providers. Seven experiments, including two field studies, demonstrate this effect, which occurs because OEMs can signal unused utility in broken products.

Symbolic Punishment through Destructive Product Disposal
Aaron Brough, Utah State University and Mathew Isaac*, Seattle University
When disposing of products with market value, consumers often prefer to donate or sell rather than trash. Yet following a major (vs. minor) transgression by an individual or a brand, consumers are more likely to use destructive disposal methods (e.g., trashing, burning, shredding) to intentionally mistreat products that represent the transgressor even when these products have market value and could instead be sold or donated. This behavior (i.e., symbolic punishment) is driven by feelings of anger experienced when thinking about a product that represents a transgressor. Little prior work has investigated reasons why products with market value are trashed, and our research prompts further work on how symbolic meaning and emotions intersect to influence disposal method decisions.

We hope to see you in Chicago this weekend!
The CBSIG team