The purpose of this research is to explore how the Attenborough effect has influenced consumer motivations towards reducing their single use plastic consumption. Prior research confirms that the Attenborough effect, a term derived from Blue Planet II after seeing a significant drop in the use of single use plastic following the programme, significantly motivated consumers to reduce their single use plastic consumption and resulted in a subsequent shift in the societal view on single use plastic. This study is delving deeper into the motivational force of the Attenborough effect using Vrooms expectancy theory of motivation, analysing each component of the model (expectancy, instrumentality & valence) to identify how consumers were motivated to reduce their single use plastic consumption from Blue Planet II. The outcome of the research will further influence if Vrooms expectancy theory is representative in the consumer environment or if the framework needs updating to better represent the creation of motivation in the field of consumer behaviour. This study will use a quantitative research method with the use of an online survey. The online survey will be designed to understand the role each component of Vrooms expectancy theory played in motivating consumers to reduce their single use plastic consumption. In total, this study collected 219 responses from the online survey.
The findings from the research concluded that instrumentality acted as the key trigger that motivated consumers to reduce their single use plastic consumption from Blue Planet II. Instrumentality as a motivational force was created through the visualisation of single use plastic shown in Blue Planet II that provided a tangible representation of the plastic crisis being faced, resulting in the trigger response amongst consumers that influenced them the greatest to reduce their single use plastic consumption from Blue Planet II. The findings further suggest however that expectancy and valence still played a function in creating motivation amongst consumers, albeit a supporting function, thereby assisting instrumentality as the key motivational force. The findings therefore conclude that Vrooms expectancy theory does not offer a true representation when analysing the creation of consumer motivation as the hierarchical process is inaccurate in the consumer behaviour field. This research therefore presents a reinterpretation of Vrooms expectancy theory to better represent the movement of motivation within the field of consumer behaviour.
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