UBC Undergraduate Research

Arousal and Willingness to Contribute to Sustainable Efforts Pu, Guan-Ji; Jawanda, Jivin; Sital, Manmeet; Kryschuk, Tamara; Liang, Vanessa


Arousal is experienced frequently throughout the day and can influence attitudes and emotions. This experiment was mostly conducted on University students and examines whether arousal will influence people’s willingness to contribute to a sustainable cause. This study had an experimental condition in which participants watched an arousing video and a control condition, in which participants watched a non-arousing video. After viewing the video, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire which measured their level of concern for the environmental issue, willingness to sign an environmental petition, and willingness to make a monetary donation. The results demonstrate a significant difference in the levels of arousal between the two conditions, which reveals that our manipulation worked. Arousal was found to significantly increase concern for the environmental issue at hand and willingness to sign an environmental petition. However, these effects were not found for willingness to donate. Our results may be explained by Schachter and Singer’s (1962) study which found that people could misattribute their arousal depending on context. Our findings can be used to raise concern for environmental efforts by pairing an arousing stimulus with information about an environmental effort. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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