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

David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah

Co-investigator:

Summary:

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.

Impacts:

Theoretically, the study will show that this distinct category of arguments can be effective in persuasion. More importantly, the study will arm educators and policy makers with a new set of arguments or tools for changing attitudes about sustainable transportation. 

Project Details

Project Type:
Research
Project Status:
Completed
End Date:
June 30,2016
UTC Grant Cycle:
Natl Round 1
UTC Funding:
$75,458