UBC Undergraduate Research

Shame on You : The Positive & Negative Emotions Associated with Colour on Climate-friendly Labels Shaaban, Ahmed; Policzer, Andre; Wu, Edris; Lima, Luiza Amoroso; Kannan, Anirudh; Fu, Elisha


Since issuing the Climate Emergency Declaration in 2019, UBC has recognized the critical need to deal with the incoming climate crisis. As part of the Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP 2030) toward net-zero emissions, UBC has shifted to using climate-labels with relevant climate information to promote sustainable consumer behaviour. There have been mixed results so far with students reporting negative emotional outcomes from exposure to these climate-labels. Looking to bridge the gap between colour psychology and consumer outcomes, this study examined the effects of climate-label colouring on emotional affect and behavioural choices. One hundred and ninety-five participants completed a Qualtrics survey where they were randomly assigned to one of three conditions where they were asked to indicate their preference for a variety of food items. Finally, they answered questions on four emotion scales. Our analysis showed no significant results between different climate-labels and emotions, with marginally significant results between different climate-labels and choosing behaviour. Our results did not validate our proposed hypotheses and potential limitations include insufficient sample size and methodological problems with self-report. Our findings suggest future research in the direction of specific colour interactions. 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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