Beyond Fear Appeals: The Role of Hope in Improving Effectiveness of Health Messages.” Paper accepted for poster by Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division

AEJMC Virtual Conference, August 4-7, 2021.

Abstract: One of the understudied areas in health communication research is hope. This study examines the effect of efficacy-inducing information on hope and subsequent attitudinal health behaviors. A total of five hundred fifty-three adults in the United States read health promotion social media posts designed to induce perceived self-efficacy (vs. non-efficacy-inducing health information) in fear-appeal regarding four different health diseases including melanoma, COVID-19, diabetes, and heart diseases. Results indicated that exposure to efficacy-inducing information enhanced hope, which boosted behavioral intention and intention to seek information. However, the effect was varied by each health topic. Statistical evaluation supported a model where the indirect effect of exposure to efficacy-inducing information on behavioral intention and intention to seek information through feelings of hope. Implications for health communication theory and practice are further discussed.

Bartosz Wojdynski  Youngji Seo  JeongHyun (Janice) Lee 

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