Toward Reducing Adolescents’ Bottled Water Purchasing: From Policy Awareness to Policy-Congruent Behavior
Poškus, Mykolas Simas
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Policy awareness increases the likelihood of policy-congruent behavior. Yet individuals may differ in the extent to which they notice certain policies; thus, psychological factors that explain behavior can have a differing effect on policy-congruent behavior of individuals. We investigated to what extent the relationship between normative, habitual, intentional, and situational factors that explain bottled water purchasing behavior vary regarding individuals’ awareness of policy targeted at reducing bottled water purchasing. We investigated this question in a representative sample of Lithuanian adolescents. Our study indicated that awareness of policy targeted at bottled water purchasing acts as a moderator for adolescents’ normative, habitual, intentional, and situational factors related to their bottled water purchasing. In low, moderate, and high policy awareness groups, habit was the strongest direct predictor of behavior. Normative factors had a strong effect in explaining intentions; in addition, awareness of consequences was directly related with behavior in the high policy awareness group. However, situational factors were insignificant predictors of self-reported behavior. Based on the results of the current study, we suggest that to achieve policy-congruent behavior, policy makers should consider both policy-reinforcing incentives and the level of policy awareness of the targeted group.
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