Investigating the influence of reference group judgements of global warming on consumers

Maria A. O. Dos Santos

Abstract


Objective: To examine the influence of different reference group judgments of global warming on consumers.

Methodology: A scale measuring the influence of reference group judgments’ on consumers was developed using secondary research. The scale was evaluated by renowned researchers and a statistician. It was pretested prior to being administered to consumers using mall intercept. 548 responses were obtained and the data analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 20.0. The Cronbach alpha for the reference group scale is 0.889.

Findings: Descriptive statistics revealed that the greatest reference group influence on consumers about global warming was experts in the field. Independent t-test results on gender revealed that there were no statistically significant differences in responses between males and females, while one way ANOVA tests revealed that there were significant differences in responses between groups belonging to different ethnic groups and generation cohorts. However there were no significant differences in responses with groups having different levels of education using the one-way ANOVA.

Conclusions: Reference group judgments’ of global warming can be used to influence consumers in relation to global warming. Experts in the field appear to be the best option. Using reference group judgments and segmenting consumers on the basis of generation cohort and ethnic group may be beneficial in trying to influence certain groups of consumers in relation to global warming. However segmenting consumers on the basis of sex and education in order to use reference group influence does not appear beneficial since there is no difference in their responses.


Keywords


Reference groups influences, consumers, global warming.

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