Case Studies

A Case Study

A Cultural Challenge. Firearm Safety in Suicide Prevention.

The People Who Love Guns brochure was developed for firearm owners by firearm owners. It is an excellent example of integrating culturally relevant messaging with more standard public health messaging. The brochure is also available as a webpage. The brochure has been well received by firearm owners, gun shop owners, behavioral health providers and primary care providers.

Research Brief

The Laboratory team also developed a Research Brief for Primary Care Providers and this too has been disseminated broadly across Oregon and nationally.


The State of Oregon’s Zero Suicide website features these communication tools, as well as 4 training videos based on our research and produced in consultation with the Laboratory's team. The videos target primary care providers and focus on how to have a conversation about firearm safety with a patient at risk of suicide.

A Case Study

One Earth. Two Languages to Protect It.

Protecting the natural environment has become a polarized issue, dominated by the rhetoric of political liberals. Americans’ behavior toward the natural world is divided along political lines. Conservatives tend to engage in environmentally friendly practices less frequently — and have decreased concern for climate change. As vocal as liberals may be, a one-sided approach to any issue is impractical and divisive.

Language and values may be at the root of the problem. The Laboratory’s research explains how typical messaging around environmental issues speaks loudly to liberal values, but ignores those of conservatives. This work demonstrates that when values of loyalty, authority and patriotism are woven into messaging, conservatives respond positively and in fact, are more likely to act on their commitments to the land and oceans.

Concern for the environment is not divisive. The language and values we have chosen to represent it are. The conclusions from this study give educators, practitioners and fundraisers a path forward.

The study appeared in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 51, August 2017 and has been featured on news media outlets including Public Radio International, Oregon Public Radio and Science Daily.