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Summative Evaluation of Communication CSS 387 May 3, 2012.

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1 Summative Evaluation of Communication CSS 387 May 3, 2012

2 Three treatments –Awareness of consequences –AC + “heritage guardian” –AC + HG + incentive Control Monitored w/camera –kids had badges 1: Shiloh Military Park Vander Stoep, G. & Gramann, J. 1987. The effect of verbal appeals and incentives on depreciative behavior among youthful park visitors. Journal of Leisure Research, 19, 69-83


4 Lessons? Messages were effective “Theory” based messages did not function better than awareness messages Social influences might have been pronounced Credible source

5 2: polystyrene recycling Old signs –Small, placed on recycling bin (not trash) –“choose to recycle” Werner, C. M., Rhodes, M. U., & Partain, K. K. (1998). Designing effective instructional signs with schema theory: Case studies of polystyrene recycling. Environment and Behavior, 30(5), 709-735. New signs –Large, brief text –3 concepts: recycle, polystyrene, only –Glued objects to sign –Trash bin: “STOP – do not contaminate!”

6 2: polystyrene recycling Test: –Pre-test (1 week) –New signs (3 weeks) –Post-test (1 week) –Collected items in bins –Administered survey (knowledge, attitudes)

7 1 full bin/day 3.5 full bins/day Large effect on specific knowledge & behavior

8 Lessons? Identify the right issue Need to interrupt mindless behavior Design features matter

9 3: damage to coral reefs Approach – verbal education Methods –Observed divers for 8 weeks – recorded number of contacts with coral (divers did 10 dives) During 5 weeks, gave briefing at end of dive #3 (experimental group) During 3 weeks, no briefings (control) Medio, D., Ormond, R. F. G., & Pearson, M. (1996). Effect of briefings on rates of damage to corals by scuba divers. Biological Conservation, 79, 91-95.

10 Dark bars = dives 1-3 Light bars = dives 4-10 (post briefing for experimental groups) 500 incidents per day at a typical dive site

11 Lessons? Divers were highly motivated Lack of knowledge and skill was overcome Used credible, authoritative source Importance of social influence

12 4: Littering at campsites Approach –Developed messages based on behavioral beliefs (wildlife) and normative beliefs (other visitors) Starkey, P. (2009). Effect of persuasive messages on campers’ littering behavior in Wenatchee National Forest, Washington. MS Thesis, University of Idaho.

13 4: Littering at campsites Approach –Installed at 35 campsites –Monitored arrival/departure –Collected trash for 12 days with each sign, and 12 control days –Counted and weighed trash

14 % of camps with litter

15 Median weight of litter per camp Collected 337 lbs of trash over 36 days

16 Median # pcs litter/camp

17 Lessons? Signs reduced littering Even with appeals, there is a major littering problem Findings were complex & contrary to expectations

18 5: energy conservation @ military bases Approach –Theory-based Knowledge social comparison values –Focus groups and interviews –Multi-part campaign (chain of command; fairs; newsletters; video; kids’ games; ‘competition’) McMakin, A. H., Malone, E. L., & Lundgren, R. E. (2002). Motivating residents to conserve energy without financial incentives. Environment & Behavior, 34(6), 848-863.

19 5: energy conservation Assessment –Energy use vs. prior year (controlled for weather differences) –Survey (awareness; self-reported behaviors; explanations)

20 5: energy conservation Effectiveness? –Fort Lewis 40% were aware of campaign 10% savings ($130,387) –Yuma 66% were aware of campaign Mixed result: Months 1-3, no change in energy use; in 4 th month, energy use declined 13% Estimated $50K savings Motivators: –Pride –Awareness

21 Lessons Modest effects can be achieved even without monetary incentives –But participation was still low People have complex motivations; appeal to values Use a multi-pronged approach Structural barriers are significant

22 6: day users @ Australian parks Approach –Elicitation interviews – compliers & non- compliers –Identified salient beliefs –Developed normative and behavioral messages –Used observation (behavior) and survey (attitudes) Hughes, M., Brown, T. J., & Ham, S. (2009). Influencing park visitor behavior: A belief based approach. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 27(4), 38-53.



25 Effect on behavior Boomerang?

26 Effect on attitudes No effect overall at either site However, 1 st time visitors at Badger Weir were affected by sign 2 (though not sign 1) 1 st timers were less likely to feed birds (71% vs. 94%) Non-compliant dog walkers had firm intentions not to leash dogs

27 Lessons Signs had only modest effects (one had no effect), despite front-end assessments Change may occur without attitude or knowledge change For some behaviors, communication may not be the answer Different audience segments may be influenced differently

28 Examples illustrate points from semester Need to consider attention, memory, & information processing Importance of knowing one’s audiences Role of social norms in behavior change Value of personal & non-personal communication Importance of artistic and conceptual design Value of evaluation

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