Event Title

Promoting Political Action through Community Based Social Marketing

Presenter Information

Alita Boyse-Peacor, Oberlin College

Location

PANEL: Challenging Predictions, Patterns, and Expectations of Human Social Behavior
Wilder Hall 112

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

5-13-2022 3:00 PM

End Date

5-13-2022 4:30 PM

Abstract

Political participation is vital for a robust democracy. Voting behavior has been extensively studied and modeled. Political behaviors between elections are important too. I tested whether models of pro-environmental behavior can be applied to political behavior and studied how to increase the political behavior of calling one’s representative. I applied a Community Based Social Marketing approach. I interviewed experts with experience in activism and legislative work, who identified that calling was an effective political action. An online survey (N = 241) explored why voters do or don’t call their representatives and provided a test of pro-environmental behavior models. Participants identified the major barrier to calling one’s representative as believing it to be ineffective. The major benefits were to be part of a movement and that it is an important action. Finally, I ran a field experiment where volunteers called constituents and asked them to call their representative. The control condition received a standard script; the experimental condition received a script that emphasized the effectiveness of calling and being part of a movement. The experiment had a low response rate (N = 54) and no significant difference was found between the control and experimental conditions (X2(2) = .37, p = .83). Although no significant results are found, it may be helpful for organizations encouraging political action to stress the efficacy of the action, provide a social component, stress the importance of the action, and have more personal contact with the constituent. Results on the model aspect of this study forthcoming.

Keywords:

Politics, Psychology, Environmentalism

Project Mentor(s)

Cindy Frantz, Psychology
Patty DeWinstanley, Psychology

2022

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May 13th, 3:00 PM May 13th, 4:30 PM

Promoting Political Action through Community Based Social Marketing

PANEL: Challenging Predictions, Patterns, and Expectations of Human Social Behavior
Wilder Hall 112

Political participation is vital for a robust democracy. Voting behavior has been extensively studied and modeled. Political behaviors between elections are important too. I tested whether models of pro-environmental behavior can be applied to political behavior and studied how to increase the political behavior of calling one’s representative. I applied a Community Based Social Marketing approach. I interviewed experts with experience in activism and legislative work, who identified that calling was an effective political action. An online survey (N = 241) explored why voters do or don’t call their representatives and provided a test of pro-environmental behavior models. Participants identified the major barrier to calling one’s representative as believing it to be ineffective. The major benefits were to be part of a movement and that it is an important action. Finally, I ran a field experiment where volunteers called constituents and asked them to call their representative. The control condition received a standard script; the experimental condition received a script that emphasized the effectiveness of calling and being part of a movement. The experiment had a low response rate (N = 54) and no significant difference was found between the control and experimental conditions (X2(2) = .37, p = .83). Although no significant results are found, it may be helpful for organizations encouraging political action to stress the efficacy of the action, provide a social component, stress the importance of the action, and have more personal contact with the constituent. Results on the model aspect of this study forthcoming.