Consequences of Sisyphean Efforts: Meaningless Effort Decreases Motivation to Engage in Subsequent Conservation Behaviors through Disappointment
Dariusz Dolinski and
Wijnand Van Tilburg
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Katarzyna Byrka: Social Behavior Research Center, Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, 53-238 Wroclaw, Poland
Katarzyna Cantarero: Social Behavior Research Center, Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, 53-238 Wroclaw, Poland
Dariusz Dolinski: Social Behavior Research Center, Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, 53-238 Wroclaw, Poland
Wijnand Van Tilburg: Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 10, 1-27
This paper explores the consequences of engaging in conservation efforts that later appear purposeless. Specifically, we tested the model in which disappointment lays at the root of decreased motivation in such situations. In Studies 1 and 2, participants ( n = 239 and n = 283) imagined that they had recycled plastic bottles for a week and that an assistant had collected their garbage in either separate bags (meaningful condition) or only one bag (meaningless condition). Half of participants imagined that they had put plastic bags and screw caps into separate containers (low-effort condition), the other half imagined that they had torn off the label bands (high-effort condition). In Study 3, a longitudinal field experiment, participants ( n = 286) took part in a real situation that followed the procedure from Studies 1 and 2. Altogether, we confirmed the moderating effect of effort on relationship between meaninglessness and motivation through experienced disappointment. We discuss consequences of efforts wasted for beliefs, intentions and behaviors affording sustainable solutions.
Keywords: meaningfulness; effort; disappointment; conservation behaviors; behavioral intention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:10:p:5716-:d:558094
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