The effect of in-group and out-group persuasive communications about climate change on the environmental beliefs and behavioral intentions of winter recreationists

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Health
Department Parks Recreation & Tourism
Author Sarnoff, Philip J.
Title The effect of in-group and out-group persuasive communications about climate change on the environmental beliefs and behavioral intentions of winter recreationists
Date 2012-12
Description Climate change has become a ubiquitous topic in society. The majority of the scientific community has concluded that climate change is occurring and that humans are primarily responsible. However, there is less agreement among the general public. Within the winter recreation industry, inconsistent precipitation and higher global surface temperatures associated with climate change have the potential to be problematic. There is a need to effectively influence beliefs about climate change and the behavioral intentions of individuals for those who have an interest in preserving climatic conditions favorable for winter recreation. Persuasive messaging has the potential to leverage an individual's involvement in and social identity with winter recreation activities. This study examined the impact of socially relevant persuasive message sources on the environmental beliefs and behavioral intentions of winter recreationists. This research is presented in a three article dissertation format. The first article addresses a preliminary pilot study developed to test persuasive messages about climate change using criteria outlined in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). This study tested strong and weak messages to determine the ELM's effectiveness using the real-world issue of climate change. The messages did not meet the established criteria, confirming the difficulties previously identified with applying the ELM to issues in an applied, nonlaboratory setting. The purpose of the second article was to determine the most effective communicator of climate change messages in order to elicit changes in environmental belief and behavioral intention. This study assessed participant environmental beliefs and behavioral intentions in three message treatment groups (in-ski resort source, ski equipment manufacturer source, climate scientist source) and a control group (no message) while accounting for leisure involvement and social identity. An analysis of variance yielded no significant main or interaction effects. Manipulation checks yielded higher cognitive processing and source credibility for the climate science message source. The third article was a practical application on current climatic conditions, perceptions of the general public and winter recreationists, and implications of climate change for winter recreation. In addition, this article proposes actions for the winter recreation industry in order to help mitigate the effects of climate change. The culminating discussion is a reflection on the findings of all three articles. Recommendations include development of more comprehensive messaging strategies surrounding climate change and a more thorough evaluation of the ELM when applied in nonlaboratory settings.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Climate change; Elaboration Likelihood Model; Social identity; Winter recreation
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Philip J. Sarnoff 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,682,569 bytes
ARK ark:/87278/s66m3nn3
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-01-03
Date Modified 2018-03-14
ID 195749
Reference URL
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