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The effect of message framing on pro-environmental behavior intentions: An information processing view

Meng-Chen Chang (Ph.D. Program in Business, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Chao-Chan Wu (Department of Cooperative Economics, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




A considerable amount of research suggests that the way information is processed may influence a purchasing decision; however, this seems to be an issue rarely investigated in green marketing studies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to draw on the literature related to the Heuristic-Systematic Model of information processing to provide a deeper insight into the factors affecting pro-environmental behavior intention.


The framework highlights the moderator role of environmental motivation and environmental knowledge in the relationships among message framing and pro-environmental behavior intention. The study used an internet survey to help reduce the social desirability bias associated with a face-to-face survey. In total, 497 questionnaires were collected, of which 68 were invalid and 429 were valid.


The results indicate that it might be beneficial for green marketing proprietors to provide product-related information stressing the potential negative consequences of not buying organic food products. This effect, however, is moderated by the degree of the customer’s environmental motivation and environmental knowledge.


This stands in marked contrast to the traditional information which emphasizes the positive consequences to motivate customers to purchase organic food products.



The authors would like to thank Professor Pao-Long Chang whose assistance, insightful, and helpful comments were tremendous on the earlier version of this manuscript. Although he had passed away since the beginning of the year, the authors gratefully acknowledge his significant and generous contribution to this paper. Professor Pao-Long Chang was the authors first supervisor and the authors really had an amazing time and extraordinary academic dialogue about how to conduct and meet any requirements for good research. The best the authors can do to honor his memory is to preserve his legacy by promoting those values and qualities that made him admirable and ensuring that those after us imbibe them as well.


Chang, M.-C. and Wu, C.-C. (2015), "The effect of message framing on pro-environmental behavior intentions: An information processing view", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 1, pp. 339-357.



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