The influence of Facebook use on pro-environmental behavioral intentions: The roles of parasocial interaction and identification with a celebrity

Blackburn, Samantha Ann
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This thesis examines the effectiveness of pro-environmental message delivery by Arnold Schwarzenegger through the social network site (SNS) Facebook, and identifies parasocial interaction and identification with a celebrity as the mechanisms whereby users may be induced towards behavioral change. A self-administered online survey was collected from 116 Facebook users who were exposed to Schwarzenegger's Facebook content. Hierarchical linear regressions were conducted to test whether exposure to Schwarzenegger's Facebook content predicted pro-environmental behavioral intentions, as well as to identify any mediating effects of parasocial interaction and identification. Significant findings support the notion that Facebook exposure to Schwarzenegger positively predicts parasocial interaction and identification with him. Parasocial interaction was also found to be a mediating influence between Facebook exposure and pro-environmental behavioral intentions, but identification was not. Analysis did not support Facebook exposure to Schwarzenegger as a predictor of pro-environmental behavioral intentions.

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Celebrity Influence, Facebook, Identification, Parasocial Interaction, Persuasion, Social Network Site