Warner, L. A., Rumble, J., Martin, E., Lamm, A. J., & Cantrell, R. (2015). The Effect of Strategic Message Selection on Residents’ Intent to Conserve Water in the Landscape. Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(4). 59 - 74. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.04059
Changing individuals' behaviors is a critical challenge for Extension professionals who encourage good irrigation practices and technologies for landscape water conservation. Multiple messages were used to influence two predictors of behavioral intent informed by the theory of planned behavior, Florida residents' (N = 1,063) attitude and perceived behavioral control. Individuals were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, each receiving a different strategically framed message. This article contributes to the literature on landscape water consumption behaviors by (a) demonstrating that messages can be used to positively affect both attitude and perceived behavioral control and (b) identifying specific message frames that may be used to realize greater impact. Two gain-framed message treatments both significantly increased participants' attitude and perceived behavioral control, and one of the loss-framed messages significantly increased participants' attitude. Results are discussed with practical application to promotion of landscape water-conservation behaviors and implications for future research.