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Using the transtheoretical model of behavioural change to understand the processes through which climate change films might encourage mitigation action

Rachel A. Howell

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2014, vol. 17, issue 2, 137-159

Abstract: A number of recent films such as An Inconvenient Truth and The Age of Stupid aim not merely to inform their audience about climate change, but to engage them in taking mitigation action. This paper outlines the transtheoretical model of behavioural change, which incorporates six stages of change that individuals progress through as they change their behaviour, and ten associated processes of change. Using four climate change films as illustrations, I show how the model can be applied to identify the processes of change employed or depicted by sustainability communications. I then discuss research on the impacts of the films in light of this analysis, considering the strengths and limitations of the movies' use/portrayal of processes of change with regard to encouraging viewers to change their behaviour. The paper concludes with recommendations for how film may be used more effectively as a tool to inspire climate change mitigation action.

Keywords: climate change communications; sustainability movies; lower-carbon behaviour; pro-environmental behaviour; behavioural change; transtheoretical model; TTM; stages of change; change process; public attitudes; climate change mitigation; mitigation action; sustainable development; environmental sustainability; sustainability films. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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