The Influence of Media in Purchasing Decisions for Recycled Construction and Demolition Waste Products: An Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study


The increasing hazards caused by construction and demolition (C&D) waste is an inevitable problem in the development of the construction industry. Many countries have successively launched many policies to encourage and guide the recycling of C&D waste, which has greatly improved the recycling rate of C&D waste. However, most of these policies only regulate contractors but do not promote C&D waste recycling products enough. It has led to an increase in the production of C&D waste recycling products while the acceptance in the market is generally low. Consumers believe that products made with “garbage” may have problems such as quality defects. In order to explore a measure that can mitigate this problem, this study uses functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate whether the influence of media can increase consumers’ willingness to purchase products for recycling construction and demolition waste, and thus increase consumers’ choice to purchase products for C&D recycling waste. This experiment consists of two phases. First, a pre-test experiment to obtain pre-intervention brain images characterizing consumers’ original attitudes toward C&D recycling waste products through a functional near-infrared imaging brain technique and a questionnaire. Second, The post-test builds on the pre-test to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention. The activation mechanism of the consumer purchase decision is further investigated by fNIRS data. The behavioral results showed that the choice of recycled C&D waste products was significantly higher after the intervention. The fNIRS results further revealed the significantly higher activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) after the intervention. These findings suggest that consumers’ purchase willingness is significantly improved after intervention, and their purchase behavior changed substantially. This study also demonstrates the great potential of fNIRS for interdisciplinary research in engineering management and neuroscience.

Frontiers in Neuroscience