An Investigation of Cognitive Processing of Fear Appeal Messages Promoting HPV Vaccination: Predictors and Outcomes of Magnitude and Valence of Cognitive Responses
Journal of Health Communication .
Abstract: An improvement in HPV vaccination rates is one of the primary goals of public health organizations. Toward this end, fear appeal communication is commonly used in health interventions, warning individuals of threats of HPV infection and promoting vaccination. However, little is known about how threat-related emotions, such as fear and anxiety, influence the cognitive processing of vaccination information and how this processing is associated with vaccination intention. To address this void, this study tests a model drawing upon functional emotion theories and dual-process models of persuasion. Results from an experimental study showed that fear and anxiety, which arose from exposure to threat information, triggered motivation to process HPV protection-related information, which in turn, was positively associated with depth of HPV vaccination information processing. Subsequently, greater depth of processing led to a greater number of positive cognitive responses when participants were presented with information with a high (vs. low), level of response efficacy. Finally, greater positivity of cognitive responses predicted greater intention to obtain HPV vaccination. Collectively, our findings provide a theory-based explanation about how the sequential provision and processing of threat and efficacy information in fear appeals contribute to the promotion of HPV vaccination. Implications for designing fear appeal messages are discussed.
Will humor increase the effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) advertising? Exploring the role of humor, STD information, and knowledge
Abstract: In this research, we seek to provide effective message strategies to communicate stigma associated health issues such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), by exploring the roles of humor, STD […]
Bridging the Fear and Hope: A Smartphone Eye-Tracking Examination of the Effects of Hope in Fear-based Health Messages
Abstract: This study used a smartphone eye-tracking approach to examine understudied areas in health communication – hope in fear appeal – when people are exposed to differential emotional shifts with fear […]