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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 19 (October-1 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Can the effectiveness of normative appeals be reinforced through imagery that reaffirms the [...] Read more. Can the effectiveness of normative appeals be reinforced through imagery that reaffirms the declared norm? Two experimental studies were carried out to investigate this question. The studies used a combination of textual normative appeals targeted at littering presented on an image depicting a forest that was either clean or had a lot of litter in it. Results revealed that images depicting a clean forest resulted in much more positive emotions regarding the stimulus, showing overwhelmingly strong effects when the textual appeal was positive as well. These findings suggest that it may be most prudent to promote desirable behaviors by creating public service announcements depicting positive examples and highlighting the prevalence of the desired behavior, rather than showing examples of undesirable outcomes and highlighting the prevalence of undesirable behavior. View this paper