Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

First Advisor

Lulu Rodriguez

Abstract

This study compares two modes of presenting information about wind energy in brochure form--one using photographs and the other using cartoons as visual aids--on audience's knowledge of, attitudes toward, and behavioral intentions regarding wind energy. Participants were randomly assigned to the two treatments. Both brochures aim to debunk "myths" and unfounded statements about wind energy.

The results show a relatively low knowledge level about wind energy, suggesting the need for more science-based communication efforts. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of knowledge and attitudes, but those shown the cartoon/comics version showed stronger behavioral intentions (e.g., greater willingness to support government initiatives to make wind a significant part of national efforts to meet future energy needs, greater willingness to support investments in wind energy development, including wind projects) than the photo group. Both groups positively evaluated the brochure they have read, although those shown the cartoon/comics version found it more informative, interesting, and cognitively engaging. Those presented with the photo version found the brochure more credible, indicating that cartoons are still viewed as appropriate for entertainment or light-hearted content, but not for serious-minded topics.

Those exposed to the photo version showed statistically significant correlations between knowledge and attitude, and between attitude and behavioral intentions. Those shown the cartoon/comics version, on the other hand, demonstrated statistically significant correlations between knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions, indicating that the comics version offers a more efficient path toward the development of stronger intentions to perform recommended behaviors.

Copyright Owner

Xiao Lin

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

107 pages

Included in

Communication Commons

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