Psychological Research Methodology

Method for Psychological Research Methodology

Participants

The data was collected through a survey on workers of a large investment banking company in Brisbane, Australia. The researcher administered 482 questionnaires to all workers in the firm early in 2020, and 140 complete surveys were submitted. Respondents participated voluntarily. The sample comprised of 108 males and 32 females with a media age of 37 years. The average age was 37.64 years with a standard deviation of 6.43 years.

Measures

The questionnaire had five measures including age, sex, selfishness, peer pressure about environmentally conscious behavior, and participation in environmentally conscious behavior. Both age and sex were considered as standard measures. The respondents were asked to indicate their age, thus no need for a Cronbach’s α. Likewise, the participants were also asked to indicate their sex as a single item, either as male or female.

On the other hand, selfishness, peer pressure about environmentally conscious behavior, and participation in environmentally conscious behavior. Both age and sex were considered as standard measures that were measured on-point response scales. Participation in environmentally conscious behaviour was measured on a seven-point scale for five items. The overall scores created were by averaging across the five scale items. Selfishness and peer pressure about environmentally conscious behavior was measured on a five-point scale for five items. The overall scores were obtained by averaging across the five scale items.

Procedure for Psychological Research Methodology

There were six sets of analyses that were analysed in this study. First, we tested the hypothesis that persons who score higher on age score lower on perceived peer pressure using both multiple linear models with an interaction term and a correlation test. The second hypothesis involved investigating whether both trait selfishness and perceived peer pressure would be independently associated with participation in environmentally conscious behaviour in a model where demographic variables were included, regardless of the association between the variables. For this, a multiple regression model was fit which included sex and age and disregarded correlation. The third, fourth, and fifth hypotheses were closely tied to this model. Hence, no further model was fit but the same multiple regression model was used to test them. The last hypothesis sought to test whether the effect of trait selfishness on participation in environmentally conscious behaviour would be moderated by perceived peer pressure in a model excluding age and sex. To undertake this test, a moderated multiple linear models was fit.

Results and Interpretations of Psychological Research Methodology

Hypothesis 1

Table 1. Correlation matrix

Correlations

 

Age

Peer Pressure

Environmentally conscious behaviour

Selfishness

Age

Pearson Correlation

1

-.158

.004

-.063

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

.062

.963

.462

N

140

140

140

140

Peer Pressure

Pearson Correlation

-.158

1

.438**

-.265**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.062

 

.000

.002

N

140

140

140

140

Environmentally conscious behaviour

Pearson Correlation

.004

.438**

1

-.087

Sig. (2-tailed)

.963

.000

 

.308

N

140

140

140

140

Selfishness

Pearson Correlation

-.063

-.265**

-.087

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.462

.002

.308

 

N

140

140

140

140

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Table 2. Multiple linear models

Tests of Between-Subjects Effects

Dependent Variable: Environmentally conscious behaviour

Source

Type III Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Corrected Model

65.169a

119

.548

2.223

.021

Intercept

1260.277

1

1260.277

5114.710

.000

age

6.370

25

.255

1.034

.475

pp

28.190

35

.805

3.269

.003

age * pp

23.994

57

.421

1.708

.093

Error

4.928

20

.246

   

Total

2454.265

140

     

Corrected Total

70.097

139

     

a. R Squared = .930 (Adjusted R Squared = .511)

According to Table 1, the correlation coefficient between age and perceived peer pressure was -0.158 with a p-value of 0.062. The implication is that people who score higher on age score lower on perceived peer pressure, although this relationship is insignificant at 5 %. Table 2 represents the regression results including the interaction term. The interaction term has a p-value of 0.093, which implies insignificance.

Hypothesis 2

Table 3.Multiple linear model, including age and sex

Coefficientsa

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

1.738

.653

 

2.659

.009

Sex

-.062

.132

-.037

-.474

.636

Age

.009

.009

.082

1.040

.300

Selfishness

.028

.062

.036

.449

.654

Peer Pressure

.612

.107

.465

5.704

.000

a. Dependent Variable: Environmentally conscious behaviour

Based on Table 3 above, the coefficient for selfishness was 0.028 with a p-value of 0.654 while the coefficient for perceived peer pressure was 0.612 with a corresponding p-value of 0.000. Therefore, only perceived peer pressure was independently associated with participation in environmentally conscious behavior.

Hypothesis 2(a)

The correlation between peer pressure and levels of participation in environmentally conscious behavior was 0.438 with a p-value of 0.000. At the same time, the coefficient of perceived more peer pressure from the model in Table 3 was 0.612 with a p-value of 0.000. These statistics mean that respondents who perceived more peer pressure about environmental issues would report higher levels of participation in environmentally conscious behavior, independently of other variables.

Hypothesis 2(b)

The correlation coefficient between selfishness and levels of participation in environmentally conscious behaviour was -0.087 with a p-value of 0.308. Similarly, the coefficient of selfishness in the model in Table 3 was 0.028 with a p-value of 0.654. The results suggest that respondents who scored higher on selfishness would report lower levels of participation in environmentally conscious of behaviour, independently of other variables, although this relationship is insignificant at 5 %.

Hypothesis 2(c)

According to Table 3, the p-value for perceived peer pressure was 0.000 while that of selfishness was 0.654. Since perceived peer pressure is significant whereas selfishness is insignificant at 5 %, we conclude that perceived peer pressure is a more important predictor than selfishness, independently of age and sex.

Hypothesis 3

Table 4. Moderated multiple linear models

Coefficientsa

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

2.302

.436

 

5.284

.000

Selfishness

-.003

.057

-.004

-.048

.962

Peer Pressure

.560

.099

.426

5.678

.000

Moderator

.210

.048

.317

4.370

.000

a. Dependent Variable: Environmentally conscious behaviour

Based on Table 4 above, the coefficient for the moderator variable is 0.210 with a p-value of 0.000. The implication is that the moderator variable is significant at 5 %. Therefore, in a model excluding age and sex, the effect of trait selfishness on participation in environmentally conscious behaviour would be moderated by perceived peer pressure.

Discussion on Psychological Research Methodology

This paper sought to establish the role of selfishness and peer pressure in predicting environmentally conscious behaviour. It did so by using a sample of 140 employees of a large investment banking company in Brisbane, Australia. The participants comprised of 108 males and 32 females with a media age of 37 years. Their average age was 37.64 years with a standard deviation of 6.43 years.

Several hypotheses were tested in establishing the role of selfishness and peer pressure in predicting environmentally conscious behaviour. The first hypothesis tested whether persons who score higher on age score lower on perceived peer pressure using both a multiple linear models with an interaction term and a correlation test. The correlation coefficient was -0.158 with a p-value of 0.062. The negative correlation means that people who score higher on age scores scored lower on perceived peer pressure. In other words, perceived peer pressure to engage in pro-environmental behaviour is higher among the youth than the elderly population.

Next, we tested the hypothesis that respondents who perceived more peer pressure about environmental issues would report higher levels of participation in environmentally conscious behavior, independently of other variables. The coefficient for selfishness was 0.028 with a p-value of 0.654 while the coefficient for perceived peer pressure was 0.612 with a corresponding p-value of 0.000, suggesting that only perceived peer pressure was independently associated with participation in environmentally conscious behavior. Moreover, a positive correlation coefficient has two implications.

First, respondents who perceived more peer pressure about environmental issues reported higher levels of participation in environmentally conscious behaviour, independently of other variables. Again, this conclusion supports the finding that peer pressure acts as a buffer against the putative causes of lower levels of environmentally conscious behaviour (Claesen, Brown &Eicher, 1986; Steg&Vlek, 2009). According to these authors, the presence of peers exerting prosocial social pressure significantly impacts one's behavior.

Second, respondents who scored higher on selfishness reported lower levels of participation in environmentally conscious. This implication supports the findings by Ashton, Paunonen, Helmes, and Jackson (1998) that selfishness contributes to low levels of prosocial behaviour. People high in selfishness tend to are less concerned about the environment or any other thing that benefits others. Therefore, it is not surprising that individuals who score highly on measures of selfishness are more unlikely to take part in environmentally conscious of behaviour.

Furthermore, it was hypothesised that perceived peer pressure would be a more imperative predictor than selfishness, independently of age and sex. The results proved that this hypothesis was true because the p-value for perceived peer pressure was 0.000 while that of selfishness was 0.654. Since perceived peer pressure is significant whereas selfishness is insignificant at 5 %, it can be logically concluded that perceived peer pressure is a more important predictor than selfishness, independently of age and sex.

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