The effects of climate change can be mitigated by altering human behavior related to water conservation; however, many who are aware of climate change are not aligning their behavior to curb the impact. This research sought to explore the relationship between citizens’ beliefs, attitudes and behaviors regarding water conservation and their knowledge and beliefs regarding climate change to guide the development of effective communication campaigns focused on water conservation. Using cognitive dissonance theory and an adapted environmental attitudes and behavior quartet, this research focused on individuals who demonstrated high levels of climate change knowledge but did not engage in positive water conservation behaviors; referred to as Hypocrites. The findings revealed Hypocrites held different perspectives on climate change than the general public. They believed climate change was real and caused by humans but are doing little to curb their personal water use and are not taking personal action to mitigate the effects of climate change. The best communication sources to use in reaching these individuals was examined and discussed with recommendations offered for how to best engage the hypocritical group who should be most likely to change their water conservation behaviors.
Taylor, Melissa R.; Lamm, Alexa J.; and Lundy, Lisa K.
"Using Cognitive Dissonance to Communicate with Hypocrites About Water Conservation and Climate Change,"
Journal of Applied Communications:
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