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Description: To what extent messenger attributes shape the effectiveness of moral messages aimed at motivating individuals to undertake personal sacrifices for protecting the climate? We explore the mechanism behind the appeal of a moral message by studying individuals’ willingness to support a hypothetical meat tax championed by a nongovernmental organization (NGO) with an online nationally representative sample of 1200 individuals in Italy. Keeping the message constant, we randomly assign respondents to three frames: a reference frame where the messenger is annonymous, a secular frame where the messenger is a university professor of philosophy, and a religious frame where the messenger is Pope Francis. Further, because different messengers might appeal to different sub populations, we explore the messenger appeal among individuals that identify as Catholic versus non-Catholic; individuals who view religion as important in their lives, who pray frequently, and attend religious services frequently versus those that do not; individuals who rank climate change among the top national problems; individuals whose family or themselves live or work on a farm; those who believe meat consumption is bad for health; those who believe in making a personal sacrifice to protect the climate independent of what others do; and those who trust that NGOs work as per their stated objectives.


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