UBC Undergraduate Research

The Effects of Gain Frame on Intentions Regarding Meat Consumption Johnson, Anna; Calvard, Ben; Nijjar, Gavin; Rostami, Mehri; Ariyawansa, Sanduni


Ecotopia, in collaboration with the Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Program, decided to work on developing strategies to promote student participation in the Climate Action Plan 2030. To narrow the scope, we decided to focus on meat consumption. To examine if it is possible to reduce meat consumption and impact behavioural intentions using pro-environmental messaging, we conducted a between-subjects study at UBC Vancouver campus. We were interested in determining whether exposure to a gain frame message would be an effective nudge to reduce meat consumption. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three different conditions: a gain frame condition (exposure to positive and empowering messaging), a loss frame condition (exposure to an almost identical passage using negative and discouraging messaging), or a control condition (no exposure). We examined differences between responses of these groups regarding environmental concerns, perceived environmental impacts of meat consumption, and interest in environmental issues. Our analysis shows partial statistically significant differences between the three groups, which may be due to a fairly small sample size. However, the trends of the results revealed possible differences if there was a larger varied sample size or if we used different types of media, such as videos or posters. 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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