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Sustainability, Transportation -- Environmental aspects, Sustainable development, Transportation -- Social aspects


An experiment tested the effects of both communications about the functions of an attitude and communications about the functions of an attitude object on persuasion. Participants received a conventional message about the benefits of public transportation, a message about the benefits of positive public transportation attitudes, or a control message. Meta-arguments about the functions of attitudes led to more favorable evaluations and stronger intentions to use public transportation. These effects were moderated by the political and environmental orientation of participants. Surprisingly, the conventional message was not persuasive. The research is novel in showing that the communication of the functions of a particular attitudinal position can change attitudes. Our findings broaden the arsenal of arguments that policymakers, environmentalists, and educators can use to change attitudes toward sustainable transportation.


This is a final report, NITC-RR-801, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:



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