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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Environmental Protection: Testing the Validity of the Extended Parallel Processing Model (EPPM) when a Threat and Proposed Solution Require Collective Action

Published: May 27, 2020


June Marchand, Université Laval; Marlyatou Diallo, Université Laval


EPPM; Environment Social Marketing; Fear Advertising


The Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) posits that a fear-inducing message will be effective if it presents a serious and relevant threat. To generate favorable reactions, a strong threat combined with a high-efficacy recommendation is advised. By contrast, a strong threat with a low-efficacy recommendation will trigger counterproductive reactions. This research tests these predictions using concepts of collective threat and collective efficacy adapted to fight climate change. The results were partially consistent with the EPPM. As expected, a message with a strong collective threat and a high-efficacy collective recommendation was the most persuasive. Also, a message presenting a strong collective threat and a low-efficacy collective recommendation generated more negative reactions than the one with a strong threat and high-efficacy recommendation. However, contrary to our expectations, a message presenting a weak threat did not elicit the weakest reactions.