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 information, and objective HPV knowledge. Conducted with a 2 (Humor: no vs. yes) x 2 (STD information: no vs. yes) between-subjects experiment with objective HPV knowledge as a measured moderator, findings suggested that for the lower HPV knowledge subjects, the humor ads produced higher attention to the ad, more favorable ad attitudes (Aad), and greater behavioral intention to seek HPV prevention and treatment than the no-humor ads when there is no STD information. However, when STD information was present, for the lower HPV knowledge individuals, the no-humor ads produced greater attention and more positive Aad than the humor ads. Humor and STD information in the ads did not affect higher HPV knowledge individuals. Implications for theory as well as practice are discussed.
Abstract: This study investigated if and how exposure to Facebook comments about vaccines influences one’s attitude toward the vaccines. In this investigation, comments were examined in light of their effect on attitude toward vaccines through perceived distribution of public opinion on vaccines, and perceived vaccine efficacy was tested as a factor moderating relative effects of comments on perception of public opinion distributions. Results from an experimental study (N = 271) showed that exposure to a greater number of comments in a thread expressing (un)favorable opinions on the flu vaccine led to (un)favorable attitude toward the flu vaccine through a change in perceived distribution of public opinions on the vaccination. The indirect effect of comments on attitude toward the flu vaccine through perceived public opinion distributions was greater among participants with lower levels of perceived vaccine efficacy, while the direct effect of comments on attitude was not significant.
Abstract: Recent studies have devoted attention to the effects of both expression and reception in communication process. However, there remain both theoretical and methodological complexities concerning whether and under what condition message expression and reception play significant but different roles in explaining various psychosocial health outcomes. Relying on theoretical insights from the social support literature and methodological innovations offered by computational social science, this study aims to examine the effects of empathic exchanges on cancer patient’s short- and long-term psychosocial health outcomes. Our findings suggest that both empathy expression and reception are crucial to attaining benefits for cancer patients, each predicting differential cognitive and affective health outcomes. Further, our finding supports the stress-buffering hypothesis such that empathy reception provides a beneficial effect for patients who experienced a higher degree of depression associated with their cancer diagnosis and follow-up treatments.