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Navigating Environmental Attitudes$
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Thomas A. Heberlein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773329.001.0001

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Educating the Public … and Other Disasters

Educating the Public … and Other Disasters

(p.69) 5 Educating the Public … and Other Disasters
Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Thomas A. Heberlein

Oxford University Press

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

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