Changing attitudes toward sustainable transportation: The impact of meta-arguments

David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah



An experiment tested the effects of both communications about the functions of an attitude and communications about the functions of an attitude
object on persuasion. Participants received a conventional message about the benefits of public transportation, a message about the benefits of
positive public transportation attitudes, or a control message. Meta-arguments about the functions of attitudes led to more favorable evaluations
and stronger intentions to use public transportation. These effects were moderated by the political and environmental orientation of participants.
Surprisingly, the conventional message was not persuasive. The research is novel in showing that the communication of the functions of a
particular attitudinal position can change attitudes. Our findings broaden the arsenal of arguments that policymakers, environmentalists, and
educators can use to change attitudes toward sustainable transportation.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
June 30,2016
UTC Grant Cycle:
Natl Round 1
UTC Funding: