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Abstract

Negative human impact on the environment is of growing concern today, yet not much psychological research has been conducted on environmental issues. This study was designed to investigate the persuasive effect of normative influence and message framing on pro-environmental behavior. Participants were asked to read an informative message concerning three types of pro-environmental behavior: vegetarianism, energy conservation, and recycling. Each message was tailored as either a loss-framed or gain-framed message coupled with either a personal consequence or a social consequence. Participants completed two scales measuring their willingness to adopt pro-environmental behaviors. Results showed that personal loss-framed messages were not more persuasive than personal gain-framed messages, but that social loss-framed messages were more persuasive than social gain-framed messages. Contrary to expectations, it was found that messages with a social influence were not more persuasive than messages with a personal influence

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