IMPACTS: An Influential Messaging Study

IMPACTS, Influential Messaging & Prosocial Attitude Change Techniques Study, seeks to answer two primary research questions:

  1. How does the presence of threat versus promotion of self-efficacy, through persuasive messages, influence sustainable behavioral changes?
  2. How do social and psychographic factors, such as worldview, eco-anxiety, and environmental agency impact behavior change outcomes?

Developed by FCI intern, Chloe Dill, the study aims to survey a random population of people over the age of 18.

The surveys will collect data on students’ attitudes, specifically, sublevel measures of threat and efficacy: severity and susceptibility (to threat), self-efficacy and response-efficacy, and behavioral intentions. In simpler terms, the surveys will ask about how serious and likely they think certain problems are, how confident they feel about handling them, and what they plan to do in different situations.

The proposed study aims uses these findings, in addition to other research that informs behavioral change techniques in sustainability, to develop and test messaging techniques.


Funded by the Haskell Grant, the purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of different messaging techniques, with regard to promoting sustainable behavior. With an interest in behavioral nudge techniques, Chloe’s study focuses on engaging in environmentally sustainable behavior, using the Extended Parallel Processing Model (EPPM).

The EPPM is like a guide to understanding how people react to messages about scary stuff, like health risks. It says that if a message makes you feel the threat is real and you believe you can do something about it, you’re more likely to take action to stay safe.

Take a look at the research poster developed by Chloe below: