Communication can be used to persuade individuals to change their intentions. This study analyzes the use of rewarding and punishing messages for the purpose of changing intention towards energy saving. It also analyzes the use of social and individual rewards and punishments and their effects in motivating behavioral change positively towards energy saving. Results show that while reward and punishment are both effective in manipulating intention positively towards energy saving behaviors, overall there is no significant difference between the two. However, when individual reward was compared to individual punishment, individual punishment was found to be more effective than reward in affecting intention to save energy. This study also found that while social motivations are as effective as individual motivations in saving energy when used in rewarding messages, individual motivations in punishing messages were more effective than social ones.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Energy conservation--Psychological aspects; Persuasion (Psychology); Advertising, Public service

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Patrick Scanlon

Advisor/Committee Member

Tracy R. Worell

Advisor/Committee Member

Eric Hittinger


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ163.3 .G37 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes