This paper isolates litter as a physical incivility in a film-based experiment, demonstrating the impact of litter on participants' anticipation of a wide range of both physical and social incivilities, and on their perceptions of crime prevalence. Such relationships have not previously been examined, partly because litter has rarely been the focus of earlier studies on incivilities. This paper also tests for possible interaction effects in these relationships involving gender (finding no significant interaction), as well as examining whether there is a difference in the anticipation of incivilities and perceptions of crime prevalence between participants exposed to branded as opposed to unbranded litter (finding no difference between the two groups). Litter is often viewed as a tolerable nuisance and not always treated as a priority. This study suggests prioritising funds towards more targeted interventions to reduce litter might result in some ‘quick wins’ – most notably, reducing perceptions of crime prevalence.
Medway, D., Parker, C., & Roper, S. (2016). Litter, gender and brand: The anticipation of incivilities and perceptions of crime prevalence. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 45, 135-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.12.002