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Tailored communication increases the perceived benefits of solar energy


Endrejat, Paul Constantin; Güntner, Amelie Verena; Ehrenholz, Sina; Kauffeld, Simone (2020). Tailored communication increases the perceived benefits of solar energy. Energy Policy, 144:111714.

Abstract

To invest in solar energy, users must be convinced about the benefits this technology offers. Thus, we need a better understanding how these advantages can be communicated and how a message's effectiveness depends on individual characteristics. Relying on the regulatory focus theory (RFT), we suggest that the effectiveness of a message is contingent on users' personal regulatory focus. According to RFT, two systems guide information processing: a promotion focus (being eager to attain gains) and a prevention focus (being vigilant to avoid losses). Utilizing data from 369 people surveyed in four mid-sized cities in Germany, we measured their chronic focus and exposed them to one of four conditions: promotion framing, prevention framing, both framings combined, or no framing. An ANOVA revealed no framing differences between groups regarding perceived benefits of solar energy. However, a moderated regression analysis showed that promoters perceived more advantages if the message highlighted the gains achieved by using solar energy, whereas preventers were more convinced if the message highlighted how solar energy helps to avoid losses. As perceived benefits were related to actual investment, we suggest that advantages associated with solar energy should be conveyed in a manner that fits users' regulatory focus.

Abstract

To invest in solar energy, users must be convinced about the benefits this technology offers. Thus, we need a better understanding how these advantages can be communicated and how a message's effectiveness depends on individual characteristics. Relying on the regulatory focus theory (RFT), we suggest that the effectiveness of a message is contingent on users' personal regulatory focus. According to RFT, two systems guide information processing: a promotion focus (being eager to attain gains) and a prevention focus (being vigilant to avoid losses). Utilizing data from 369 people surveyed in four mid-sized cities in Germany, we measured their chronic focus and exposed them to one of four conditions: promotion framing, prevention framing, both framings combined, or no framing. An ANOVA revealed no framing differences between groups regarding perceived benefits of solar energy. However, a moderated regression analysis showed that promoters perceived more advantages if the message highlighted the gains achieved by using solar energy, whereas preventers were more convinced if the message highlighted how solar energy helps to avoid losses. As perceived benefits were related to actual investment, we suggest that advantages associated with solar energy should be conveyed in a manner that fits users' regulatory focus.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Energy
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, General Energy
Language:English
Date:1 September 2020
Deposited On:10 May 2023 14:13
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0301-4215
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111714