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An Exploratory Study of Science and Nature Collaborations in Pinterest

Reid Isaac Boehm, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

CCI Auditorium, 321 Communications Building

Users are developing diverse ways of employing the social media Website Pinterest as a collaborative tool in their lives for recreational and work-related tasks. In particular, science organizations and agencies are beginning to use Pinterest to connect with the public. In one example, the San Diego Zoo invites pinners to create a panda-themed Pinterest board. NASA Edge pins photos from the Mars rover. Inspired by examples such as these, this paper is the initiation of a study of the utility of the science and nature category of Pinterest for the purpose of citizen science collaborations. The research explores how individuals are already engaging in science content curation while using Pinterest, facilitating an understanding of how this type of activity can be applied to citizen science research practices. Using a theoretical framework of Virtual Transactive Memory Systems, the proposed study includes content analysis to explore the activity and the collaborative nature of contributions to the science and nature category of Pinterest over a period of one month. The goal of the research is to understand the nature of Pinterest as it applies to scientific communication that includes the public sphere to contribute to the literature of collaborative content curation. By understanding the current landscape of collaboration and citizen involvement, future research will be equipped with information to begin to delineate user needs and best practices for citizen science collaboration in Pinterest-like environments.

Keywords:

Pinterest, Content Curation, Virtual Transactive Memory Systems, Collaboration, Social Media, Citizen Science, Public Engagement, Science Communication

Communication Strategies in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisements

Ilwoo Ju, University of Tennessee

CCI Auditorium, 321 Communications Building

Little research has incorporated a theoretical framework for the analysis of message and creative strategies used in DTCA to date. The purpose of the current study is to extend the previous literature by providing a more complete list of DTCA message and/or creativity strategies based on Taylor’s message strategy wheel. The results show that DTCA has been used to promote drugs for such life-threatening conditions as asthma, acid reflux, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and arthritis. The most common inducement was the offer of consumer support information. In general, magazine DTC ads from 2006 to 2010 were likely to take both informational and transformational approaches. The comprehensive list of message and creative strategies found in this study would indicate what strategies might be available for existing marketers or new entrants into the DTCA category. However, the use of emotional appeals in DTCA suggests a public policy concern. The theoretical, public policy, and managerial implications are discussed.

The Influences of Perceived Environmental Responsibilities on Green Purchasing Intentions

Jinhee Lee, University of Tennessee
Ilwoo Ju, University of Tennessee

CCI Auditorium, 321 Communications Building

The current study examined the influences of perceived environmental responsibilities of the three types of important social agents (individuals, companies, and governments) on consumers’ green purchasing intentions. Drawing on the environmental consumerism and purchase decision making literature, consumers’ perceptions of the aforementioned social agents’ roles in environment protection were hypothesized to influence their purchase intentions for green products. In addition, the current study attempted to investigate the different prediction patterns of such factors for two different purchase intention measures (e.g., general purchase intention and “willingness to pay more” for green products) to capture the nuance between the different measurement scales, which has been ignored in the green purchasing literature. An analysis of the nationally representative 2009 Experian Simmons National Consumer Study revealed that perceived personal norm of the environment was the strongest predictor of general purchase intention for green products, whereas perceived role of governmental regulation on green issues was the strongest predictor of “willingness to pay more.” Theoretical, managerial, and regulatory implications are discussed.