Educating the Public … and Other Disasters

Thomas A. Heberlein

in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199773329
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979639 | DOI:
Educating the Public … and Other Disasters

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This chapter reports on a series of field experiments designed to influence energy consumption conducted over a dozen years to test the key assumption of the cognitive fix—that information can change attitudes, and that the resulting attitude change would lead to an increase in pro-environmental behavior. The cognitive and the structural fixes go toe-to-toe here, and the prize goes to the later. The good news of this chapter is that our environmental attitudes are often resilient, and even big corporations armed with millions of dollars have little success trying to change them through advertising. The media play a role in attitudes because they influence what we think about, not what we think.

Keywords: advertising; cognitive fix; energy conservation; environmental attitudes; media; structural fix

Chapter.  9058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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