Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Victor Benassi


The present study analyzed the role of environmental message characteristics (message modality and message valence) and emotional arousal (positive and negative) in predicting environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. Using an experimental protocol designed to induce emotions in the laboratory, I measured specific emotional responses to gains-framed and losses-framed video and text-only environmental messages, and investigated the relation between intensity of emotional responses to environmental messages and environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. The sample consisted of 161 college students (116 women, 45 men). A hierarchical linear multiple regression was computed to assess the contributions of background variables (environmental knowledge, environmental beliefs, and outdoor recreational behavior), message modality and strength of emotional responses in predicting environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. Findings supported the overall model in explaining variance in environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. Results suggest that background variables, message modality, and negative emotional arousal significantly predicted environmentally responsible behavioral intention. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.