InDesign Team 1Tianna Drew, Danie Merriman, Justin Shearer, Aerin TruskeyENGL317 April 13, 2012
Relative Effectiveness of Positive and Negative Framingin Increasing Public Support for Wildfire Mitigation Efforts Abstract.
Using differently designed and framed information in the form of “losses” and “gains” frameinfographics, we assessed the effects of each of these frames on participants’ views onwildfire mitigation efforts in the Rocky Mountain west. With a “pre-test” to gather data on theseparticipants’ existing opinions and knowledge, followed by one of the infographic frames, andfinally a “post-test,” we measured whether and by how much each infographic frame changedparticipants’ ideas about wildfire management.The results of our surveys, interviews, and a focus group were admittedly mixed. Certain surveyand interview statements (regardless of frame) produced dramatic changes in participants’responses, while others proved less subject to this change. Furthermore, some of thesestatements showed that subjects changed their answers in response to one infographic framebut not the other. Some of our results may be very helpful to further studies of framing and itseffectiveness in communicating land management agencies’ desired message; however, manyof our participants reported that certain survey and interview statements were confusing, vague,irrelevant, or even all of the above. In light of this we would suggest that any future researchersamend their surveys and interviews to better reflect the information featured in the infographics,and take caution to write these tailored materials clearly and concisely.
In this pilot study we tested the effects of differently presented information, specifically in theform of two differently designed infographics, on participants’ opinions on and knowledge of fire mitigation efforts (particularly prescribed burns and mechanical thinning). We administeredthese different presentations of information to each participant in one of two forms, calledframes. The “gains” frame, also called the positive frame, presented data and argumentsin terms of what landowners have to gain from taking the suggested action. Its counterpartthe “losses” frame, also known as the negative frame, focused on potential detrimentalconsequences to these same landowners if they did not take the suggested action.Using a numerical Likert scale to gauge subjects’ agreement with certain statements or levelsof knowledge on the topic, we collected their responses both before and after administering oneof the two frames. We have based our conclusions on whether subjects changed their viewsin response to the information we presented to them, and if so, by how much, along with thereasoning underlying their change in response (when available). We are assuming that changesin numerical response are positively correlated with an infographic’s effectiveness in educatingand persuading the subject.The results of this initial study will inform future research into whether positive or negative