Public responses to drinking recycled water: the effect of affect and social identity

Greenaway, Tameika (2013). Public responses to drinking recycled water: the effect of affect and social identity Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Greenaway, Tameika
Thesis Title Public responses to drinking recycled water: the effect of affect and social identity
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Kelly Fielding
Total pages 149
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The sustainability of water in Australia continues to be a pressing concern for governments and scientists alike. Viable alternative water schemes such as recycled water have been implemented for limited use in Australia, but policy-makers continue to experience difficulties in garnering public acceptance to introduce recycled water for drinking. The present study examined whether emotional framing and the source of the message impacted the attitudes of Australian citizens (N = 208) towards drinking recycled water, using the affect heuristic and social identity theory as framework. Participants were presented with images and emotive language which directed their attention to either the source or the outcome of recycled water to elicit negative or positive affect, respectively. Social identity was manipulated by first making salient participants’ identities as Australians, and then attributing provided information to either Australian scientists or scientists. A hanging control group was included. The dependent variables of acceptance, risk perceptions, benefit perceptions and dread were measured. Consistent with the affect heuristic, positive affective framing led to more positive attitudes towards recycled water. The predicted interaction did not emerge, although participants who identified strongly as Australians felt less acceptance towards drinking recycled water, perceived more risks, and perceived less benefits when positively framed information was attributed to Australian scientists. Potential explanations for these findings and future avenues of research are explored.
Keyword Recycled water
Public responses
Social Identity

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Created: Mon, 07 Jul 2014, 14:21:20 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology