Counter-stereotype intervention for construction and demolition waste recycling products: A functional near infrared spectroscopy study


The generation and stock of construction and demolition (C&D) waste is increasing, which makes the environmental and economic problems serious. In recent years, China has also launched many policies to encourage and guide C&D waste recycling. However, most of these policies are aimed at contractors and recycling utilization parties, while the lack of publicity and promotion has led to the acceptance in the market is generally low. People may have a negative stereotype of this recycled material recycled from C&D waste. In order to explore a measure that can alleviate this problem, this study used experimental research methods from psychology and neuroscience to investigate the mechanisms of different presentation forms of counter-stereotype intervention materials. This study included two experiments: the pretest experiment verified the implicit-explicit stereotype and neuronal image representation of C&D recycling products through single category implicit association test (SC-IAT), semantic difference scale and functional near-infrared (fNIRS). The posttest experiment was based on the counter-stereotype intervention method and intergroup contact theory. A within-participants design was used to investigate the effectiveness of counter-stereotype intervention and the differences in two intervene presentation forms based on the pretest experiment. The results showed that the counter-stereotype intervention was effective in suppressing the activation of stereotypes. The effects of the intervention were similar for both the video and graphic formats. In the neuron imaging representation of the posttest experiment, the significantly activated brain region shifted from the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (R-dlPFC) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-dlPFC). L-dlPFC is highly associated with the modulation of cognition, indicating that after the counter-stereotype intervention, the necessity of C&D waste recycling and the credibility of the recycling product influenced the participants. So when the stereotype was reactivated, the signal in the L-dlPFC was suppressed, weakening the expression of the stereotype. This also suggests that the mechanism of counter-stereotype intervention is to strengthen the brain regulatory system rather than to inhibit the activation of stereotypes at the source.

Journal of Cleaner Production