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Consequences of Sisyphean Efforts: Meaningless Effort decreases motivation to engage in subsequent conservation behaviors through disappointment

Byrka, Katarzyna and Cantarero, Katarzyna and Dolinski, Dariusz and Van Tilburg, Wijnand (2021) 'Consequences of Sisyphean Efforts: Meaningless Effort decreases motivation to engage in subsequent conservation behaviors through disappointment.' Sustainability, 13 (10). ISSN 2071-1050

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Abstract

This paper explores 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 Study 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 Study 1 and Study 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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: meaningfulness; effort; disappointment; conservation behaviors; behavioral intention
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 16:10
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 16:10
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30364

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