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A Dirty Word Or A Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Politics, and Query Theory David Hardisty, Eric Johnson & Elke Weber Columbia University NSF SES-03455840.

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Presentation on theme: "A Dirty Word Or A Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Politics, and Query Theory David Hardisty, Eric Johnson & Elke Weber Columbia University NSF SES-03455840."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Dirty Word Or A Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Politics, and Query Theory David Hardisty, Eric Johnson & Elke Weber Columbia University NSF SES & SES NIA 5R01AG

2 TAX

3 A Paradox? Leading economists and climate scientists advocate a CO 2 tax Few US politicians mention a CO 2 tax Meanwhile, the carbon offset (and credit) industry allows people to voluntarily pay more

4 “Our party has been accused of fooling the public by calling tax increases ‘revenue enhancement’. Not so. No one was fooled.” -- J. Danforth Quayle, V.P., The Quayle Conjecture

5 Attribute Framing Labels make a big difference People pay more for 75% lean than 25% fat (Levin & Gaeth, 1988) Doctors & patients prefer survival rate to mortality rate (Marteau, 1980; McNeil, Pauker, Sox & Tversky, 1982) Women, but not men, prefer an 80% fat- free chocolate bar (Braun, Gaeth & Levin, 1997)

6 Political Ideology Strong, reliable individual differences based on political conservatism (Jost, 2006) Conservatives sensitive to the labeling of financial options (Morris, Carranza & Fox, in press) Perhaps conservatives are uniquely sensitive to the “tax” label

7 Predictions 1.More support for the offset label than the tax label 2.More support among Democrats than Republicans across labels 3.Republicans more strongly affected by the labeling

8 Study 1: Participants 275 US Residents Mean age = 41 (SD = 13) Recruited and run online 38% Democrats, 25% Republicans, 37% none of the above No significant demographic differences among parties

9 Study 1: Methods Proposal to increase cost of certain products believed to contribute to global warming through energy use and resulting CO 2 emissions Price increases would fund programs to decrease CO 2 levels by funding alternative energies or carbon sequestration Proposal described as carbon tax or carbon offset (between subjects manipulation)

10 Study 1: Methods Suppose you are purchasing a round trip flight from Los Angeles to New York city, and you are debating between two tickets, one of which includes a carbon tax [offset]. You are debating between the following two tickets, which are otherwise identical. Which would you choose? Ticket ATicket B $ round trip ticket includes a carbon tax [offset] $ round trip ticket

11 How strongly would you prefer Ticket A or Ticket B? (-2 = Strongly Prefer B to +2 = Strongly Prefer A) Do you think the carbon tax [offset] included in Ticket A should be made mandatory for all airline tickets sold in the US? (-3 = Definitely Not to 3 = Definitely) Study 1: Methods

12 Environmental attitudes questionnaire (NEPr, Dunlap et al., 2000) Demographic questions, including political affiliation Study 1: Methods

13 Study 1: Flight Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

14 Study 1: Flight Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

15 Study 1: Flight Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

16 Study 1: Flight Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

17 Study 1: Gas Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Brand Offset Tax

18 Study 1: Electricity Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Option Offset Tax

19 Study 1: Computer Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Computer Offset Tax

20 Study 1: Preferences DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean Preference for the More Costly Product Offset Tax

21 Study 1: Support for Regulation DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean Support for Regulation Offset Tax

22 What About Environmental Attitudes? DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean NEPr

23 Study 1: Environmental Attitudes Environmental Attitudes (NEPr) Quartile Proportion Choosing the Costlier Option Tax Offset

24 Study 1: Education Year Degree or LessBachelor's DegreeGraduate Degree Proportion Choosing the Costlier Option Tax Offset

25 Study 1: Discussion Effect of labeling depended on political affiliation Little is known about the cognitive or affective processes driving attribute framing effects In Study 2, we explored the cognitive mechanisms underlying preference construction

26 Query Theory (Johnson et al., 2007) Preferences constructed from memory Series of mental queries for and against each option The resulting balance of evidence determines your preference Order matters: due to output interference, the second query generates less support

27 Query Theory: Empirical Support Endowment effect: ownership changes the order of queries (Johnson et al., 2007) Intertemporal choice: accelerate-delay effect (Weber et al., 2007) Reversing the natural order of queries eliminates these effects

28 Query Theory: Hypotheses Label will affect ordering of thoughts supporting or opposed to carbon fee Republicans will have immediate, negative thoughts in response to the tax label The ordering will affect the balance of support, in turn predicting choices

29 Study 2: Participants 373 US Residents 39% Democrats, 21% Republicans, 24% Independents, 16% none of the above

30 Study 2: Methods Participants practiced listing their thoughts Read description of tax/offset program Listed thoughts about the two airline tickets Indicated their choice, preference strength, and support for regulation Reported positive & negative feelings (“affect”) Self-coded their thoughts Reported demographics

31 Study 2: Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

32 Study 2: Choices DemocratIndependentRepublican Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

33 Study 2: Positive Affect DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean Positive Affect Offset Tax

34 Study 2: Negative Affect DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean Negative Affect Offset Tax

35 Thought Examples good for the environment carbon offset is not that much more than regular ticket what does the extra money do to offset the carbon

36 Thought Examples we are taxed too much I don't want to pay additional tax

37 Thought Examples Why would I ever pay extra for this? I really don't care about a 'carbon tax' If it's the same thing, get rid of the tax The government needs to stop taxing us randomly I will be old or dead by the time this world has an energy crisis And by that i mean a huge one where we are all f***ed This is a ridiculous thought to have

38 Thought Examples tree huggers how do I really know which one has carbon emissions? save the world

39 Order of Thoughts Order calculated as the Standardized Median Rank Difference (SMRD) SMRD scores vary from +1 (supportive thoughts first) to -1 (opposed thoughts first)

40 Study 2: Number of Thoughts Participants listed 2.7 thoughts (SD = 1.4) No effect of party or frame

41 Study 2: Order of Thoughts DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean SMRD Score Offset Tax

42 Study 2: Content of Thoughts DemocratIndependentRepublican Mean Supporting Minus Opposed Thoughts Offset Tax

43 Study 2: Thought Order and Content Order & content highly correlated, r =.68, p <.001.

44 Study 2: Mediation Frame x Party Choice β =0.82, p <.0001

45 Study 2: Mediation Frame x Party Choice Order & Balance of Thoughts β =0.23, p <.05 β =0.87, p <.0001 β =0.84, p <.0001 β =1.43, p <.0001

46 Study 2: Mediation Frame x Party Choice Order & Balance of Thoughts β =0.82, p <.0001 (β = 0.59, p =.054) Sobel Test, Order: z = 2.3, p <.05 Sobel Test, Content: z = 3.0, p <.001 β =0.23, p <.05 β =0.87, p <.0001 β =1.43, p <.0001 β =0.84, p <.0001

47 Study 2: Education Year Degree or LessBachelor's DegreeGraduate Degree Proportion Choosing the Costlier Product Tax Offset

48 Study 2: Discussion Replicates Study 1 As predicted by Query Theory, differential framing effect driven by a cognitive difference in the order & balance of thoughts supporting each option

49 Can you make Republicans like taxes? What if we manipulate the order of thoughts?

50 Study 3: Results First ThoughtsSecond Thoughts Proportion Choosing the Costlier Ticket Offset Tax

51 Future Directions Consequential choices Hot-button word for Democrats?

52 Implications Message framing may mean different things to different people Order in which people consider new information is important

53 Thanks to... My co-authors, Elke & Eric The National Science Foundation, SES and SES The National Institute on Aging, 5R01AG The CRED and PAM labs

54 Thank You!!!

55 A Dirty Word Or A Dirty World? Attribute Framing, Politics, and Query Theory David Hardisty, Eric Johnson & Elke Weber Columbia University NSF SES & SES NIA 5R01AG

56

57 References Braun, K. A., Gaeth, G. J. & Levin, I. P. (1997). Framing effects with differential impact: The role of attribute salience. Advances in Consumer Research, 24, Dunlap, R. E., Van Liere, K. D., Mertig, A. G. & Jones, R. E. (2000). Measuring endorsement of the new ecological paradigm: A revised nep scale. Journal of Social Issues, 56, Levin, I. P. & Gaeth, G. J. (1988). Framing of attribute information before and after consuming the product.. Journal of Consumer Research, 15, Marteau, T. M. (1980). Framing of information: Its influence upon decisions of doctors and patients. British Journal of Social Psychology, 28, McNeil, B. J., Pauker, S. G., Sox, H. C. & Tversky, A. (1982). On the elicitation of preferences for alternative therapies. New England Journal of Medicine, 306, Morris, M. W., Carranza, E. & Fox, C. R. (In Press). Activating conservative political identities induces "Conservative" Financial decisions. Psychological Science. Johnson, E. J., Haubl, G. & Keinan, A. (2007). Aspects of endowment: A query theory of value. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, Jost, J. T. (2006). The end of ideology. American Psychologist, 61, Watson, D., Clark, A. L. & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, Weber, E. U., Johnson, E. J., Milch, K. F., Chang, H., Brodscholl, J. C. & Goldstein, D. G. (2007). Asymmetric discounting in intertemporal choice. Psychological Science, 18,

58 Study 1 Fee Description The following questions will ask you to choose between two products, one of which includes paying for carbon emissions. As you may know, carbon dioxide emissions are produced by many human activities, such as driving, flying, or using electricity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international panel of credible scientists who study the issue, these carbon emissions contribute to global warming. The carbon you produce can be balanced out through measures such as planting trees, which absorb carbon, or funding alternative energy sources, which reduces reliance on polluting energy sources such as coal. The goal of a carbon tax, which may or may not be mandatory, is therefore to fund these efforts and ensure that the price of an activity reflects the true cost to society. [The goal of a carbon offset, which may or may not be mandatory, is therefore to make an activity carbon neutral -- meaning that there is no net contribution to global warming.] We would like you to tell us your preference for products in which one may address the issue, removing the amount of carbon that you would contribute by using the product. We are interested in your opinions, that is your best guess of what you would do if you really faced these choices. Note that all prices and costs in the following questions are actual, real world prices and costs.

59 Study 2 Fee Description The following questions will ask you to choose between two products, both of which cause some carbon emissions, but only one of which includes payment for compensating those emissions. As you may know, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are produced by many human activities, such as driving, flying, or using electricity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international panel of credible scientists who study the issue, these carbon emissions contribute to global warming. The carbon you produce can be balanced out through measures such as funding alternative energy sources (which reduces reliance on polluting energy sources such as coal), or carbon sequestration (which traps greenhouse gases so they do not enter the atmosphere). The goal of a carbon tax [offset] is therefore to fund these activities and ensure that the cost of an activity reflects its true cost to society. Policymakers are considering a mandatory carbon tax [offset] program which would raise the cost of certain products and services but make these activities carbon neutral through reputable measures such as those described above. We would like you to tell us your preferences for products which do or do not include a carbon tax [offset]. We are interested in your opinions, that is your best guess of what you would do if you really faced these choices. Note that all prices and costs in the following questions are actual, real world prices and costs.

60 Computing Order of Thoughts Order calculated as the Standardized Median Rank Difference (SMRD) SMRD = 2(MR o –MR s )/n MR o = median rank of aspects opposed to the more expensive option in the list of aspects MR s = median rank of aspects supporting the less expensive option in the list of aspects n = total number of aspects listed SMRD scores vary from +1 (supportive thoughts first) to -1 (opposed thoughts first)

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