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Responding to Activism: An Experimental Analysis of Public Relations Strategy Influence on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621) 13 matter. In an effort to better understand your needs and concerns, we are soliciting your comments. Please contact McDonald’s toll-free at 1-800-366-2537. Control message: The McDonald’s Corporation is in the process of revising and updating the menus we use in our global chain of fast-food restaurants. The image on this page will be used as a background on all future print materials from our organization. The new menu design will feature a large picture of our popular Big Mac sandwich, a large order of french fries and a large coke. The image will be shown in both color and black-and-white formats. After viewing the four anti-McDonald’s messages from PETA and a response message from McDonald’s, subjects were asked to complete an instrument containing 30 items that measured their beliefs, attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intentions. Specifically, scales were created to measure the following variables: 1) behavioral intention (to eat at McDonald’s); 2) attitude toward behavior (eating at McDonald’s); 3) subjective norm regarding behavior (eating at McDonald’s); 4) salient beliefs about McDonald’s; and 5) attitude toward target/strategy. Since the issue in PETA’s activist campaign related to meat and meat products, a second set of measures was created to test people’s attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intentions toward eating meat at McDonald’s. Except for the addition of the word “meat” or the words “meat products” to the statements, the two set of measures were identical. Behavioral intention was measured by combining the scores from an intent measure and a magnitude measure. The statement, “I intend to eat at McDonald’s during the next month,” was rated on a 7-point semantic differential-type scale anchored by likely/unlikely. Subjects rated the extent to which they intended to eat at McDonald’s during the next month on a 5-point magnitude measure ranging from never to 10 or more times. To measure attitude toward behavior, a scale was created using four 7-point semantic differential-type items. The statement, “My attitude toward eating at McDonald’s is,” was rated on scales anchored by positive/negative, good/bad, favorable/unfavorable, and healthy/unhealthy. To measure subjective norm regarding behavior, subjects rated the statement, “Most people who are important to me think that ___ eat at McDonald’s,” using a 7-point semantic differential-type scale anchored by I should/I should not. To measure beliefs about McDonald’s, a scale was created using six items. Subjects were asked to rate the statement, “I consider messages from McDonald’s to be,” using a 7-point semantic differential- type scale anchored by balanced/unbalanced, credible/not credible, and trustworthy/not trustworthy. In addition, a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) was used to measure the following three items: 1) I believe McDonald’s engages in the inhumane treatment of animals

Authors: Page, Kelly.
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background image
Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
13
matter. In an effort to better understand your needs and concerns, we are soliciting your comments.
Please contact McDonald’s toll-free at 1-800-366-2537.
Control message: The McDonald’s Corporation is in the process of revising and updating the menus
we use in our global chain of fast-food restaurants. The image on this page will be used as a
background on all future print materials from our organization. The new menu design will feature a
large picture of our popular Big Mac sandwich, a large order of french fries and a large coke. The
image will be shown in both color and black-and-white formats.
After viewing the four anti-McDonald’s messages from PETA and a response message from
McDonald’s, subjects were asked to complete an instrument containing 30 items that measured their
beliefs, attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intentions. Specifically, scales were created to measure
the following variables: 1) behavioral intention (to eat at McDonald’s); 2) attitude toward behavior
(eating at McDonald’s); 3) subjective norm regarding behavior (eating at McDonald’s); 4) salient beliefs
about McDonald’s; and 5) attitude toward target/strategy.
Since the issue in PETA’s activist campaign related to meat and meat products, a second set of
measures was created to test people’s attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intentions toward eating
meat at McDonald’s. Except for the addition of the word “meat” or the words “meat products” to the
statements, the two set of measures were identical.
Behavioral intention was measured by combining the scores from an intent measure and a magnitude
measure. The statement, “I intend to eat at McDonald’s during the next month,” was rated on a 7-point
semantic differential-type scale anchored by likely/unlikely. Subjects rated the extent to which they
intended to eat at McDonald’s during the next month on a 5-point magnitude measure ranging from never
to 10 or more times.
To measure attitude toward behavior, a scale was created using four 7-point semantic differential-type
items. The statement, “My attitude toward eating at McDonald’s is,” was rated on scales anchored by
positive/negative, good/bad, favorable/unfavorable, and healthy/unhealthy.
To measure subjective norm regarding behavior, subjects rated the statement, “Most people who are
important to me think that ___ eat at McDonald’s,” using a 7-point semantic differential-type scale
anchored by I should/I should not.
To measure beliefs about McDonald’s, a scale was created using six items. Subjects were asked to
rate the statement, “I consider messages from McDonald’s to be,” using a 7-point semantic differential-
type scale anchored by balanced/unbalanced, credible/not credible, and trustworthy/not trustworthy. In
addition, a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) was used to measure
the following three items: 1) I believe McDonald’s engages in the inhumane treatment of animals


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