Understanding the Relationship between Individuals’ Emotional Response and Environmental Protection Intentions : A Quantitative Research in the Context of Public Service Advertisements

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för marknadsföring och turismvetenskap (MTS)

Abstract: Background: The protection of the environment requires everyone in this world to act together. If more individuals have the intention to protect the environment, then more individuals and a higher probability of taking action to protect the environment. In order to arouse individuals' attention to environmental issues, some non-profit organizations and government agencies have released public service advertisements. As a way of constructing advertisements, message framing can awaken individuals' emotional responses to the content of public service advertisements by conveying positive or negative information. Positive information can arouse individuals' positive emotions, while negative information can cause individuals' negative emotional reactions. Emotional responses could have an impact on individuals. Therefore, this article focuses on whether there is a relationship between emotional responses and intention.  Purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to explain how the emotional response to the message framing in public service advertisement impact individuals’ intention to protect the environment.  Methodology: This thesis followed a deductive approach; thus, the quantitative research method is applied to this paper. The data collection method is the questionnaire, the authors designed a self-completed questionnaire, and it was sent out online. Before the questionnaire sent, there was a small-scale pretest of the questions was conducted. Then, the questionnaire was posted online, and the authors received 590 valid responses as a result. Afterward, the authors used SPSS as the technical tool to analyze the data. Coding, descriptive analysis, Cronbach’s alpha, correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis were used to analyze the data and test the hypothesis.  Findings: This study found that positive emotional responses to positive message frames in PSAs had a positive impact on individuals' intentions to protect the environment. In addition, negative emotions were found to have no positive effect on negative message framing in PSAs in relation to individuals' intentions to protect the environment.  Conclusion: This study shows that positive emotional responses to PSA images depicting positive messages have a positive impact on environmental conservation intentions. From a positive emotional response perspective, the researchers found that the use of natural environments in PSA images elicited strong positive emotions in respondents and could trigger higher levels of pleasure and happiness, as well as lower levels of awe.  In addition, although negative messages in PSA images can trigger negative emotions in individuals (fear, guilt, and sadness), they do not affect individuals' intention to protect the environment. Thus negative emotional reactions do not affect the intention to protect the environment. 

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