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Advocating recycling and encouraging environmentally friendly habits through gamification: An empirical investigation


  • Hsu, Chia-Lin
  • Chen, Mu-Chen


A circular economy emphasizes decreasing the use of new raw materials and the disposal of waste by reusing and recycling, which ensures that products and materials can remain in use, thereby extending their life cycle. Promoting recycling and environmentally friendly habits can help consumers engage in sustainability thinking, which is essential considering that effective resource recycling critically depends on environmentalists' behaviors. A helpful means to encourage such thinking and habits is gamification. Deepening and extending findings from the existing literature, this study applies gamification to conceptualize contributions to resource recycling and environmentally friendly habits. For this purpose, we integrate a cognitive–affective model with an expectation–confirmation model to examine causal relationships between the utilitarian (effectiveness and efficiency) and hedonic (playfulness) values of a website and users' cognition- and affect-based attitudes, satisfaction, confirmation, and behavioral intentions (word of mouth [WOM] and continued usage). We empirically test the research model by applying structural equation modeling to analyze the experiences of a sample of 457 participants that are members of Recyclebank, an American company set up to encourage recycling and environmentally friendly habits. The results reveal that effectiveness, efficiency, playfulness, and confirmation contribute to cognition- and affect-based attitudes and satisfaction, which in turn influence repetitive usage and WOM intentions. Attitudes, however, may differ depending on the cultural background of the user. Thus, we find that collectivistic versus individualistic user orientations moderate the effects of value on attitudes in a gamification context. The findings provide website managers with insights regarding determinants crucial in formulating intention policies and motivating users’ to continue using a service.

Suggested Citation

  • Hsu, Chia-Lin & Chen, Mu-Chen, 2021. "Advocating recycling and encouraging environmentally friendly habits through gamification: An empirical investigation," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:teinso:v:66:y:2021:i:c:s0160791x21000968
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101621

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