A more convenient truth: using social influence to promote pro-environmental beliefs and behaviors
Cardinal, Brecken Quinn
AdvisorSinclair, Colleen H.
CommitteeGiesen, Martin J.
The present study examined how environmental attitudes and behaviors can be affected using social norms. The study employed a 2 (participant position: pro-environmental or anti-environmental) × 2 (context condition: face-to-face or computer mediated communication) × 2 (normative pressure: unanimous or non-unanimous) quasi-experimental design. Participant position was a nonrandomized group classification factor based on responses to a screening survey. Attitude extremity was controlled for in analyses. Participants initially anti-environmental reform and in the non-unanimous normative pressure condition had significantly less attitude change than that of those who were anti-environmental reform and in the unanimous normative pressure condition. Pro-environmental reform people were not affected by the variations in group pressure. Higher rates of conformity found in the computer mediated context did not translate into attitude change. No differences were found in political behavior. Findings suggest that advertising employing unanimous normative pressure in a face-to-face interaction would persuade anti-environmentalists to become more pro-environmental.