Project 3: Persuasive Effects of Argumentative, Visual, and Narrative Climate Discourse
Project Director: Prof. Dr. Hartmut Wessler
Research Associate: Lutz Hofer
The persuasive effects of particular discourse modalities (argumentative, visual, narrative) and thei interplay are understudied in international research on climate communication. So far research has dealt with information-oriented media use and its consequences and in doing so has focused especially on possible increases in knowledge and motives for action (cf. Thaddicken & Neverla, 2011).
This project has two aims. On the one hand, it aims at extending extant research by conducting experiments with media users through which the persuasiveness of those justifications for institutional reforms will be analyzed that are to be developed in Project 1 and whose presence in media coverage will be empirically assessed in international comparison in Project 2.
On the other hand, Project 3 complements existing media effects studies by including the thus far neglected wisual and narrative elements of journalistic climate coverage as stimuli (on visuals cf. among others: O'Neill & Nicholson-Cole, 2009; Doyle, 2011; DiFrancesco & Young, 2011; on narratives cf. Viehöver, 2012; Schwarze, 2006; Smith, 2012; Spoel, Goforth, Cheu & Pearson, 2008). Particular emphasis will be placed on affective effects of visual and narrative elements of climate communication in addition to cognitive and behavioarl effects. It is assumed that affective effects influence motivations for actions and are therefore important for the support of innovations in climate politics as addressed in Project 1. The project partly draws on results fromt the existing research project "Sustainable media events?" in which the interplay between argumentative, visual, and narrative elements of journalistic climate coverage is analyzed in an internationally comparative media content analysis (see climate.uni-mannheim.de). Thus, realistic stimulus material for the effects study of Project 3 already exists.