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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) 17 Bargaining strategy definition: The bargaining response message had the second lowest mean, following the promise and reward response message mean. The bargaining response message mean was significantly different than the informative and persuasive response message means. Cooperative problem-solving strategy definition: The cooperative problem-solving response message had the lowest mean. The cooperative problem-solving response message mean was significantly different than all other response message means except the bargaining response message mean. These results indicate mixed support for the manipulation of public relations strategy type. Overall, the manipulations for the facilitative and cooperative problem-solving strategies were the most successful, showing a high level of agreement between the response message and strategy definition. The persuasive, promise and reward, and threat and punishment strategies were fairly successful and performed well on at least one aspect of agreement tested. The informative and bargaining strategies were the least successful manipulations, indicating that the response messages created for these strategy types may not be obvious representations. These findings may be due to the low number of participants used for the manipulation check (N=29). They also may be due to lack of clarity in the strategy definitions resulting from limited research and theory on the public relations strategy taxonomy. Despite the mixed findings for the manipulation check, the decision was made to continue the experiment in order to gain a greater understanding of the public relations strategy taxonomy for use in future research. Scale Reliability Prior to hypothesis testing, the internal consistency of the multiple-item scales used to measure the variables of interest was assessed. Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient was used to assess the correlation between the two-item behavioral intention scales. The standardized scores for the two items measuring intention to eat at McDonald’s produced a strong positive correlation (r=.72, p=.000). Similarly, the two items used to measure intention to eat meat at McDonald’s produced a strong positive correlation (r=.75, p=.000). Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the reliability of the multiple-item scales used to measure attitudes and beliefs. According to Carmine and Zeller (1979), reliability alphas should not fall below .80 for widely-used scales. Berman (2002) stated that alpha values between .80 and 1.00 indicate high reliability. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward eating at McDonald’s yielded a coefficient alpha of .93. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward eating meat at McDonald’s yielded a coefficient alpha of .94. The six-item scale used to measure beliefs about McDonald’s yielded a coefficient alpha of .84. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward PETA yielded a coefficient alpha of .94. The five-item scale used to measure beliefs about PETA yielded a coefficient alpha of .84. These results indicate that the scales used to test the variables of interest had strong internal consistency.

Authors: Page, Kelly.
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Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
17
Bargaining strategy definition: The bargaining response message had the second lowest mean,
following the promise and reward response message mean. The bargaining response message mean
was significantly different than the informative and persuasive response message means.
Cooperative problem-solving strategy definition: The cooperative problem-solving response message
had the lowest mean. The cooperative problem-solving response message mean was significantly
different than all other response message means except the bargaining response message mean.
These results indicate mixed support for the manipulation of public relations strategy type. Overall,
the manipulations for the facilitative and cooperative problem-solving strategies were the most successful,
showing a high level of agreement between the response message and strategy definition. The persuasive,
promise and reward, and threat and punishment strategies were fairly successful and performed well on at
least one aspect of agreement tested. The informative and bargaining strategies were the least successful
manipulations, indicating that the response messages created for these strategy types may not be obvious
representations. These findings may be due to the low number of participants used for the manipulation
check (N=29). They also may be due to lack of clarity in the strategy definitions resulting from limited
research and theory on the public relations strategy taxonomy. Despite the mixed findings for the
manipulation check, the decision was made to continue the experiment in order to gain a greater
understanding of the public relations strategy taxonomy for use in future research.
Scale Reliability
Prior to hypothesis testing, the internal consistency of the multiple-item scales used to measure the
variables of interest was assessed. Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient was used to assess
the correlation between the two-item behavioral intention scales. The standardized scores for the two
items measuring intention to eat at McDonald’s produced a strong positive correlation (r=.72, p=.000).
Similarly, the two items used to measure intention to eat meat at McDonald’s produced a strong positive
correlation (r=.75, p=.000).
Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the reliability of the multiple-item scales used to measure
attitudes and beliefs. According to Carmine and Zeller (1979), reliability alphas should not fall below .80
for widely-used scales. Berman (2002) stated that alpha values between .80 and 1.00 indicate high
reliability. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward eating at McDonald’s yielded a coefficient
alpha of .93. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward eating meat at McDonald’s yielded a
coefficient alpha of .94. The six-item scale used to measure beliefs about McDonald’s yielded a
coefficient alpha of .84. The four-item scale used to measure attitude toward PETA yielded a coefficient
alpha of .94. The five-item scale used to measure beliefs about PETA yielded a coefficient alpha of .84.
These results indicate that the scales used to test the variables of interest had strong internal consistency.


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