Engagement With Air Quality Information: Stated Versus Revealed Preferences
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1177/1086026619837690
Air pollution has a significant impact on health but is often invisible to the naked eye. Real-time air quality information can help people take action to protect their health. However, little is known on how to most effectively frame air quality information to promote public health. We conducted a field experiment to study people’s engagement with real-time air quality information provided through a smartphone application (app). We tested 12 different messaging strategies on both intent to engage with air quality information (through a survey), and actual engagement with air quality information tracked through the app in response to the messaging strategies. Our results, based on 835 survey respondents and 2,740 app users, show that intent to engage and actual engagement differ. Overall, users’ demographics were the most important predictor of engagement with messages. This research demonstrates the significance of testing messaging strategies through field experiments rather than through surveys, and the importance of targeted messages.