Current Issue Summary
March 2022 (Vol. 62, Issue 1)
How to Shape Consumer Reaction to Corporate Environmental Communications: Accentuating the Negative to Build Trust Can Elicit Favorable Intentions and Behaviors
This research builds on the study of negativity bias, or the tendency to register negative stimuli more readily than positive stimuli. A global team of authors—Giovanni Pino (University of Studies “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti–Pescara in Italy), Giampaolo Viglia (University of Portsmouth, U.K.), Rajan Nataraajan (Auburn University), and two more in Italy: Alessandro M. Peluso (University of Salento), and Marco Pichierri (University of Bari)—used three studies to measure the impact of different framing modes for environmental-responsibility marketing efforts. These are initiatives that attempt to respond to growing consumer interest in how companies handle the consequences of production processes on the natural environment.
The study reviewed both positively and negatively framed modes and found that “the disclosure of negative environmental information (negative framing) may lead receivers to make positive attributions about a company’s true commitment to environmental problems.” Among the takeaways:
- “Negatively framed messages about a company’s pro-environmental actions exert a positive effect on the company’s perceived trustworthiness.
- “This positive effect, in turn, favorably influences consumers’ intentions and behaviors toward the company.
- “The overall effect is statistically significant for consumers who are particularly worried about the environment and who perceive the company as potentially harmful to the environment.”
Read the full article here.