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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar - Jaime Lucas

Plan to join Jaime Lucas's graduate exit seminar on April 26, 2023, at 10:00 am in Kottman Hall 460 or via Zoom. Jaime will present, "Illuminating the Messenger Effect: Exploring Perceptions of Messengers on Consumer Engagement with Residential Photovoltaic Systems."

Abstract: The burning of fossil fuels for electricity production greatly endangers global sustainability. One strategy in combatting this issue is the widespread adoption of household renewable energy sources such as residential photovoltaic systems (RPVS). Effective communication strategies are critical for promoting solar diffusion at the household level. One important factor in this process is the messenger who disseminates solar information. Known as the ‘messenger effect’, one who communicates a message can influence how their audience perceive and respond to a product, which can shape future behaviors. Three pre-registered studies explore this effect in several dimensions of consumer engagement with RPVS. Study 1 reveals that traits differ across various messenger types, finding higher levels of warmth, trust, and vulnerability in known messengers compared to unfamiliar messengers and higher levels of dominance in entity messengers compared to their individual representatives. Study 2 explores whether these differences will influence consumer engagement with the technology, finding neighbors elicit higher levels of openness to learning. Study 3 builds on previous findings to examine the influence of message delivery platforms with results indicating neighbors who share about RPVS via phone calls increase the likelihood of future conversations. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.

Advisor: Dr. Nicole Sintov