Effects of Nature Values and Regulatory Fit of Message Framing on Message Evaluation and Actual Pro-Environmental Donations

Karl-Andrew Woltin, Joanne Sneddon, Anat Bardi

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Abstract

Messages are often tailored to individual differences, as fit is believed to influence behavior. We examine the effects of regulatory fit (i.e., matching promotion/prevention message framing to people’s promotion/prevention orientation) and the priority that individuals attribute to nature values, on the evaluation of climate change messages and donations to pro-environmental charities. We measured participants’ (n = 570) regulatory focus on ensuring positive outcomes (promotion) versus avoiding negative outcomes (prevention), nature values. Participants evaluated a promotion- or prevention-framed text (highlighting ensuring the welfare of the environment or avoiding its destruction) and were then invited to donate part of their remuneration to pro-environmental or other charities. Participants who prioritized nature values evaluated the promotion-framed text more favorably the stronger their promotion focus was, but only endorsement of nature values predicted donations. This highlights the importance of measuring actual pro-environmental behavior, as positive message evaluations did not result in donations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-628
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume54
Issue number3
Early online date10 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • values
  • value-behavior relations
  • donations
  • regulatory fit
  • nature values
  • pro-environmental behavior

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