Guilt and Shame: Environmental Message Framing Effects

Tae Hyun Baek, Sukki Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The authors examine how two negative emotions—guilt and shame—influence responses to environmental ad messages framed as gains or losses. In Study 1, participants primed with guilt express higher intention to conserve water after they view a gain-framed water conservation ad; participants primed with shame express higher conservation intention after they view a loss-framed ad. Study 2 replicates and supports the proposed matching hypothesis using nonstudent adults. In Study 3, participants react to a recycling ad as they did in Studies 1 and 2 when they expend high effort by transcribing the recycle pledge before they view the ad, but not when they expend low effort by reading the pledge first. The findings overall provide converging evidence for the interplay between negative emotions and message framing. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed for developing environmental advertising message strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-453
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017, American Academy of Advertising.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing


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