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“I Will Start Saving Natural Resources, Only When You Show Me the Planet as a Person in Danger”: The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Pro-Environmental Behaviors that are Viewed as Effortful

1
Department of International Marketing and Retailing, University of Lodz, 90-131 Lodz, Poland
2
Department of Marketing, Lublin University of Technology, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
3
Chair of Marketing, European University Viadrina, 15230 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145524
Received: 19 June 2020 / Revised: 6 July 2020 / Accepted: 7 July 2020 / Published: 8 July 2020
Little is known on how to encourage effortful (rather than effortless) conservation behaviors, and prior research investigated only single (rather than multiple) message appeals in terms of their persuasive power in promoting pro-environmental intentions. The current study uses a framework from evolutionary psychology to propose and test a blend of message appeals that is most likely to drive green behaviors perceived as effortful. An experiment with a 2 (yes versus no anthropomorphic cue) × 2 (negative versus positive message frame) between-subjects design was run, and effort was included as a measured factor. The findings reveal that negatively framed messages are most effective in prompting effortful (but not effortless) pro-environmental intentions only when they are coupled with anthropomorphic cues (no differences between loss and gain messages were found when no anthropomorphism was used). These effects were replicated across two types of behaviors: water conservation and waste reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: message framing; loss/gain frame; anthropomorphism; conservation behavior; effort; low-cost hypothesis message framing; loss/gain frame; anthropomorphism; conservation behavior; effort; low-cost hypothesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Karpinska-Krakowiak, M.; Skowron, L.; Ivanov, L. “I Will Start Saving Natural Resources, Only When You Show Me the Planet as a Person in Danger”: The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Pro-Environmental Behaviors that are Viewed as Effortful. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5524. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145524

AMA Style

Karpinska-Krakowiak M, Skowron L, Ivanov L. “I Will Start Saving Natural Resources, Only When You Show Me the Planet as a Person in Danger”: The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Pro-Environmental Behaviors that are Viewed as Effortful. Sustainability. 2020; 12(14):5524. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145524

Chicago/Turabian Style

Karpinska-Krakowiak, Malgorzata, Lukasz Skowron, and Lachezar Ivanov. 2020. "“I Will Start Saving Natural Resources, Only When You Show Me the Planet as a Person in Danger”: The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Pro-Environmental Behaviors that are Viewed as Effortful" Sustainability 12, no. 14: 5524. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145524

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