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Question 1) Provide strategic recommendations for the Cool Communities

program based on the theory of reasoned action discussed in this chapter.

In basic terms, the Theory of Reasoned Action says that a person’s behaviour
is determined by their attitude towards the outcome of that behaviour and by the
opinions of the person's social environment. Ajzen and Fishbein (1980, p62)
proposed that a person's behaviour is determined by his intention to perform the

Using the simplified version of the theory of planned behaviour, an
individual’s behaviour is divided into three factors which are attitude towards the
behaviour, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control. Attitude towards the
behaviour explains that it will lead to certain outcomes ( Ajzen and Driver, 1992,
p297-316) The behaviour Cool Communities are trying to encourage are the little
changes that Australians can do to improve their lifestyles and cut green house gas
emission. Australians on the other hand, has the attitude of just thinking that changes
to support the behaviour are costly and unaware that green house effects are caused
by humans. To encourage Australians to really take action, Cool Communities should
use advertisements and promote messages about green house effect.

Subjective norm explains about the feelings of an individual’s referents. An
individual has the motivation to comply and rely heavily on the consideration of
their referent’s feelings. (Shiffman, 2008, p234) As an individual, they might think
that it’s normal to do what others are doing. In other words, peer pressure. Cool
Communities should use the referents to influence the masses. For example, they
could change their thinking to, “We should start using more energy efficient
appliances because our neighbours use them and it works!”

However, one of the limitations is called perceived behavioural control. This
talks about the limitations that an individual might face in implementing their
behaviour. From the report, Cool Communities have gathered that the main
limitations are the financial cost, the low level of knowledge and no encouragement.
To change their mindset, Cool Communities should encourage creativity in finding
alternative cost effective ways and make an energy efficient household an example in
the neighbourhood.

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Question 2) How could attribution theory be used to make future Cool

Communities programs more effective?

Attribution theory attempts to explain how people assign causality that is

blame or credit to events on the bases of either their own behaviour or the behaviour

of others (Shiffman, 2008). As the study shows, many believed that global warming

was the result of a natural variation and not caused by the human race. Cool

Communities need to identify the attribution theory perspectives which are either

attributions towards others or attributions towards things.

Cool Communities need to incorporate strategies that consumers will not

only understand easily but that will help give them answers as to why their

contribution of helping to reduce the greenhouse effect is vital. The ability to help

consumers to answer this question will definitely increase the current 15% of the

focus group that have a real understanding of the greenhouse effect.

To address the attribution towards others perception, it involves evaluating

the others’ motives and intentions. Australians are suspicious of the motives and

intentions therefore rejecting change in their behaviour. A simple solution to this

problem is to educate and involve Australians in every step of the implementation of

Cool Communities.

In order to educate the Australians, Cool Communities should either have an

exemplary home to showcase energy efficient appliances, or have a neighbourhood

talk and encourage neighbours who has successfully implement energy efficient

appliances to give a testimonial and to give each and every household

encouragement for taking a step to promoting a more environmentally friendly way

of life.

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To involve Australians in Cool Communities, they should encourage

Australians to put on their thinking caps and suggest ways to help reduce green

house emissions while enjoying a better life. They could also get the support from

the local print media to help promote ways to reduce green house emissions.

On the other hand, attributions towards things are evaluating how a certain

product meets expectations. By promoting more economical energy efficient

appliances, Australians would expect to see the electric bill slowly decreasing in

order for them to support and encourage the use of these appliances.

Another concept is the ‘Foot in the Door’ concept where Cool Communities

could encourage them to take baby steps and slowly change their lifestyle from there.

For example, they could just make change their light bulb to an energy efficient one

and then slowly encourage them to make bigger changes.

Question 3) How would you say the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)

applies to this case?

Elaboration likelihood model of persuasion to explain, in detail, how a

persuasive message worked to change the attitude of the receiver, a message was

transmitted and received through one of two routes of persuasion: the central route

and the peripheral route. ( Solomon, 2006)

The central route is normally used for high involvement purchase and a

person is more likely to be persuaded if he is able to elaborate on a message

extensively. That is, if he is motivated to think about the message, is able to think

about it, and if the message is a strong one, he will be persuaded in accordance with

the message. (Peter, 2005)

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The peripheral route is normally used for low involvement purchases and

states that if a person is unable to elaborate on a message extensively, then he may

still be persuaded by factors that have nothing do with the actual content of the

message. That is that he would be drawn to the message by factors that he is already

familiar with and has positive attitudes about and would associate those attitudes

with the message. (Schiffman, 2008)

The Elaboration Likelihood Model can be applied to this case because we

could use it to see how involved the people are. Based on the study, 90% of the

respondents believe they are already taking action but only a minority are practising

significant actions such as solar hot water and has little knowledge of how

households contribute to the green house effects. Through the data, we know which

route to use in order to get the respondents to change.

The Elaboration Likelihood Model can be used as a tool to enhance the

programs of Cool Communities. By identifying which area that needs targeting, for

example, the knowledge level, they would know which persuasion tool to use

because not everyone can be targeted with the same persuasion tool.

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