Model: Behavioral Predictors

P. Wesley Schultz wrote a chapter in New Tools and Environmental Protection entitled “Knowledge, Information, and Household Recycling: Examining the Knowledge-Deficit Model of Behavior Change.” Here, he brings up the idea that characteristics that predict behavior can be divided into two categories: personal and situational. Personal predictors refer to characteristics internal to an individual, while situation predictors are external to the individual and are characteristics of the context or the system.

Although this differentiation is fairly simple and straightforward, I found it intriguing and thought visualizing it might help me. In my visualization, I used the 6 examples of personal predictors listed by Schultz and added a 7th: habits. I also came up with my own list of situational predictors which relate to my thesis case study of bottled water.

Then, as you can see in the diagram above, I selected the characteristics that my thesis project could address. I say “could” because I’m not sure if it is feasible or practical to try to address all of these characteristics in one project.

I think that this experimental visualization helps me to think more clearly about the characteristics of the situation I am trying to address: what I can and cannot change, and what I want to attempt to change.

A possible next step could include taking my journal and survey findings and assigning key points and quotes to each relevant personal characteristic. That would help me to see what I already know, and where I have holes that I need to fill in with more participatory research.

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