UBC Undergraduate Research

Influence of CO2 save-cost-framed emission labelling on consumer behaviour Shatsky, Ariel; Lee, Chanbin; Tolentino, Coleen; Li, Melissa; Perkins, Naomi


We investigated how the principles of save-cost-framing, a variation of gain-loss framing, affected the shopping choices of UBC students. We examined whether the save-cost-framing of CO2 emission from transportation impacts the choice between local or non-local food items. Knowing that loss-framed climate protection messages are more effective in increasing willingness to comply compared to gain-framed messages8, we predicted that given a choice between local and non-local foods, students would be more likely to choose the local option under a carbon-cost-frame compared to a carbon-saving frame. Additionally, we predicted that students would be more likely to choose local options under a carbon-saving frame compared to a neutral frame. Using Qualtrics, participants were allocated to 1 of 3 survey conditions: neutral, carbon-save-frame, or carbon-cost-frame, and given a choice between local and non-local options across 7 paired food items. Data was collected from 155 students through online recruitment, with 124 valid responses. Results of a one-way between-subjects ANOVA revealed no significant differences, but a chi-square test indicated a significant difference between the conditions and our hypothesis was partially supported. We found participants chose the local options in the save-frame and cost-frame conditions more than in the neutral frame. 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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