Psychology behind littering: A CEC member's opinion
02 March 2010 | News story
CEC member Carlos Micilio, an urban environmental consultant, recently published an opinion piece on the psychology behind littering in Waste Management World. ¿Ha leído...? La pobreza no es excusa. Una mirada a la psicología detrás de tirar la basura (en inglés).
As our cities become more congested and busy, knowledge of the impact we each have on our surroundings becomes more and more crucial... The assumption that lack of care for one’s environment is due to poverty is false.
A social psychology experiment carried out by Stanford University in 1969 sought to explain the cause of varying behaviours between different socio-economic groups. The team of researchers conducted a field trial where two identical cars of the same model and same colour were left in different streets. One was left in the New York suburb of the Bronx, which was a deprived area, and one was left in a wealthy neighbourhood in California. Two identical cars abandoned in two neighborhoods with entirely different populations, and a team of specialists in social psychology studying the behavior of people at each site.