The Effect of Quantification on the Accuracy of Proenvironmental Behavior Self-Reports

Victor Corral-Verdugo, Francisco Zaragoza and Alfonso Guillén

DOI: 10.2190/NY21-R31A-FHUT-7360


One hundred and thirty individuals, living at a Northwestern Mexican city, self-reported A) how frequently (always, often, sometimes, never) they engaged in activities of reuse and recycling, and B) how many reused and recycled objects they had at home. A) was considered as reported frequency of reuse/recycling, while B) was taken as reported quantity of reuse/ recycling. In addition, observations of reused/recycled products were conducted at the individuals household. Correlation analysis of these three methods were done on the reuse and recycling of several products. These correlations revealed higher associations between observed reuse/recycling and the quantitative self-reports of such behaviors, than between the self-report of frequency and the quantitative self-reports or between the observations and the frequency reporting. The higher correlations of observations and the quantitative verbal report were found only in those cases where the action of reuse/recycling was more salient. A path analysis modeling the correlation between an index of observed reuse/recycling behavior and quantitative and frequency indexes of self-reports replicated the results of the correlations for each separate activity. It was concluded that quantifying the products of self-behavior may enhance the accuracy of self-reports of conservation behavior.

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