Small is Big: Interactive Trumps Passive Information in Breaking Information Barriers and Impacting Behavioral Antecedents

41 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2016 Last revised: 23 Aug 2016

See all articles by Ariane Beck

Ariane Beck

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Kiran Lakkaraju

Sandia National Laboratories (NM)

Varun Rai

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs

Date Written: August 2, 2016

Abstract

The wealth of information available on seemingly every topic creates a considerable challenge both for information providers trying to rise above the noise and discerning individuals trying to find relevant, trustworthy information. We approach this information problem by investigating how passive versus interactive information interventions can impact the antecedents of behavior change using the context of solar energy adoption, where persistent information gaps are known to reduce market potential. We use two experiments to investigate the impact of both passive and interactive approaches to information delivery on the antecedents (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control in the Theory of Planned Behavior) of intentions and behavior, as well as their effect on intentions and behavior directly. The passive information randomized control trial delivered via Amazon Mechanical Turk tests the effectiveness of delivering the same content in a single message versus multiple shorter messages. The interactive information delivery uses an online (mobile and PC) trivia-style gamification platform. Both experiments use the same content and are carried out over a two-week time period. Our findings suggest that interactive, gamified information has greater impact than passive information, and that shorter multiple messages of passive information are more effective than a single passive message.

Keywords: Information Salience, Solar PV, Serious Games, Gamification, RCT, Information Gaps

JEL Classification: C81, C83, C93, D12, D81, D83, M30, Q20, Q42

Suggested Citation

Beck, Ariane and Lakkaraju, Kiran and Rai, Varun, Small is Big: Interactive Trumps Passive Information in Breaking Information Barriers and Impacting Behavioral Antecedents (August 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2823952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2823952

Ariane Beck

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

Kiran Lakkaraju

Sandia National Laboratories (NM) ( email )

POB 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185
United States

Varun Rai (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

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