Do You See What I See? Using Visual Framing to Support the Protection and Preservation of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Research on the meta-communication concept of ‘framing’ has demonstrated that people can respond very differently to ideas, policies or even identical data when it is framed in different ways. To date most research on framing has focused on language. The primary objectives of this research were to explore whether visual imagery presented in combination with powerful written stimulus had any impact on: a) the degree to which people believed Antarctica and the Southern Ocean were regions that should be preserved and protected from irreversible damage (salience), and b) their propensity to financially support well-known, notfor-profit (NFP) organisations that aim to protect and preserve Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Secondary objectives included whether visual framing influenced perceptions of: 1) specific threats to these regions, 2) mitigation priorities, and 3) the effectiveness of taking various actions to protect and preserve Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. To examine these questions, we constructed five self-complete, on-line surveys that were emailed to 15,929 currently inactive World Wide Fund for Nature (Australia) financial supporters. Approximately 2% (n=307) were completed and returned. Results from this study showed no statistically significant differences on the primary or secondary measures. Whether this was due to the sample size being too small, the lack of variation across the sample in key measures, bias or moderating factors being at play, or whether the visual frames devised for this research were not potent enough, is unclear. Further research using different visual frames, or the same visual frames to more people or a broader, potentially less biased segment of the community is recommended.