International Journal of Inactivism — Mindless Link Propagation section

  • 04:01:15 pm on November 16, 2009 | 0

    Via Brian D: The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public.

    A powerful way of framing a message considers people’s goals. Do they view their goal as making something good happen, or preventing something bad from happening?

    People approach goals differently. People with a promotion focus see a goal as an ideal and are concerned with advancement. They prefer to act eagerly to maximize or increase gains. People with a prevention focus, however, see a goal as something they ought to do and are concerned with maintaining the status quo. They prefer to act vigilantly to minimize or decrease losses.

    Research shows that tailoring messages to people’s natural promotion and prevention orientations increases the level of response for both groups, regardless of whether their response was positive or negative. These findings support the idea of framing messages from multiple perspectives to accomplish environmental goals. For example, if a local city wants people to increase their recycling, city officials should explain options in different ways, some with a promotion focus and some with a prevention focus. A promotion message would emphasize “going the extra mile” (e.g., going out of one’s way to recycle, how recycling benefits the community). A prevention message would encourage “dotting the ‘i’ and crossing the ‘t'” (e.g., being careful to recycle, how not recycling hurts the community).


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