UBC Undergraduate Research

Sadness : Exploring the Impact of Emotional Manipulation on Environmental Behaviours Lowe, Sydney; Athwal, Ashpreet; Tema, Agang; Yue, Lillian; Allan, Lissy; Wu, Fang-Wen


This study examined whether inciting sadness on UBC students increased their likelihood of being more aware of their environmental behaviours and subsequently more willing to act environmentally friendly. The study began by asking participants to fill out a survey (specific to their condition), and was finished by presenting the participants with a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup sign-up sheet. The study contained two conditions. One condition was labelled the “emotional” condition and the other was labelled the “statistical” condition. The first hypothesis of the study was that the participants in the “emotion” condition would be more willing to engage in environmentally friendly behaviours, which was measured by examining how many boxes they checked on the environmental actions checklist. The second hypothesis was that the participants in the “emotion” condition would be more likely sign up for the Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup. The participants in this study were UBC students, who filled out the survey at the Life and the Nest Buildings on UBC campus. The results revealed that the participants in the “emotion” condition did not have an increased willingness to engage in more environmentally friendly behaviours. The results show that both stimulus have some amount of impact on the levels of concern per an individual. Additionally, the manipulation of emotion was found to increases participants levels of concern for the environment in both conditions. 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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