Lindsey Beall

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Matthew M Martin

Committee Co-Chair

Elizabeth Cohen

Committee Member

Keith Weber


The purpose of this study was to test components of the extended parallel process model (Witte, 1992) and psychological reactance theory (Brehm, 1966) using environmental hazards as a primary threat, rather than a personal health threat. In addition, this study examined the effect that response costs, ego involvement, and personal connection had on individuals' self-efficacy to perform a behavior. Participants (N = 157) watched a short video that emphasized the environmental and health risks of coal as well as the benefits of using clean energy sources. One group of participants saw a recommended response encouraging them to contact a state representative in support of clean energy initiatives. The second group did not see a recommended response. All participants answered an online survey that assessed their ego involvement involving coal, personal connection to the coal industry, efficacy regarding the recommended response, reactance regarding the video and the recommended response, intention to contact a state representative, response costs associated with contacting a state representative, and actual performed behavior where they clicked a link to receive contact information for state representatives.;Results indicated that participants who saw the video with the recommended response reported more reactance than participants who did not see the recommended response. In addition, participants who felt the video was trying to restrict their autonomy reported more reactance than participants who did not feel as if the video was trying to restrict their autonomy. Other results indicated that ego involvement involving coal had a significant, negative relationship with reported behavioral intention of contacting a state representative in support of clean energy, however, there was no relationship between ego involvement and actual performed behavior.