Research seminar in Sustainable Marketing by John Thøgersen

LOURIM Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

February 09, 2022

2.00 - 4.00 pm

LLN + Teams

Auditoire DOYEN 21 and visio Mons


Behavioral spillover in the circular economy: The importance of consumer goals

The transition to a circular economy demands that consumers take responsibility, both in the acquisition and disposition stages of the consumption cycle. In Europe and worldwide, there has for a long time been a focus on reducing and recycling waste, including from households. This implies a responsibility for households to source-separate their waste and place or bring recyclable fractions in/to designated containers or collection points, with the dual purpose of reducing landfills and reuse products and materials. However, for the latter to work, and make the economy truly circular, consumers need to buy used products or products with recycled materials (i.e., circular products). Some consumers resist circular products, assuming lower quality, while others value them for being environmentally friendly. In this study, we test the hypotheses that (a) the more consumers recycle, the more inclined they are to buy circular products, and vice versa, and (b) that this behavioral spillover is mediated through strengthening the goal of waste reduction. These hypotheses are tested in a cross-lagged panel model by means of a two-waves online panel survey. To check the cross-national validity of results, the survey was carried out in both Copenhagen and Lisbon (N’s ≈ 500 in Wave 1 in each city). In both cities, we found a significant and positive cross-lagged effect from recycling to buying circular products, and in Lisbon also the other way round. The cross-lagged effects were mediated through the goal of waste reduction. The study implies that communication to engage consumers in the circular economy should emphasize the link between recycling and circular buying behavior and especially the superordinate waste and conservation goals that they both contribute to.



To know more about John THØGERSEN, please check his page  

In all instance, John has a very large expertise in many domains revolving around

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Social and environmental marketing
  • Consumer and environmental protection
  • Spillover and the generalization of environmentally responsible behaviour
  • The role of social and moral norms for environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Inter-generational transfer of pro-environmental values, attitudes and behaviour
  • Media influences on consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviour

He is also Member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Psychology, published by Frontiers; Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Environmental Psychology, published by Elsevier and Editor of Journal of Consumer Policy, published by Springer. He reviews around 12-15 papers a year for other journals.