When the Sublime Backfires: Detrimental Effect of Threat-Based Awe for Devastating Nature on Sustainable Consumption
Primary Author: Eujin Park
Faculty Sponsor: Howlett
Primary College/Unit: Carson College of Business
Category: Business, Communication, and Politial Sciences
The influence of awe for nature has mostly been known to be positive and successful for sustainability campaigns. Nonetheless, not all awe for nature campaigns are likely to be successful since threat-based awe entails dissimilar emotional consequence in comparison with general positive awe. Hence, we conducted empirical studies to test for the detrimental effect of threat-based awe derived from experiencing devastating nature on sustainable consumption and related mechanism.
Experimental studies were conducted to manipulate ‘awe for nature’ for one group and ‘threat-based awe for devastating nature’ for the other through audiovisual stimuli adopted from existing literature respectively. Analysis of variance and conditional PROCESS analysis were utilized to test for the effect of threat-based awe for devastating nature on sustainable consumption and related mechanism.
We demonstrate that threat-based awe for devastating nature leads to diminished willingness-to-pay for sustainable consumption (study 1). Threat-based awe for devastating nature also reduces accepting promotional offer related to sustainable consumption (study 2). Threat-based awe for devastating nature even lessens the actual amount of money spent for sustainable consumption (study 3). Threat-based awe for devastating nature diminishes individual’s perceived sense of control over his/her life and hence reduces sustainable consumption (study 3). Yet, imbuing public accountability ameliorates the detrimental effect of threat-based awe for devastating nature on sustainable consumption (study 3). Hence, the empirical findings discuss the significance of the effect of threat-based awe for devastating nature on sustainable consumption and a practical solution to resolve for the detrimental effect.