Abstract: The present article investigates the antecedent and consequence of hope arousal over the course of processing a fear appeal message by considering constructs and propositions of the extended parallel process model (Witte, 1992). In order to empirically test the mechanism through which hope is produced, this study employed an online experimental study concerning genital warts and HPV vaccination. In the experiment, participants first attended to threat information about HPV infection and genital warts, and then read efficacy information about the effectiveness of HPV vaccination. Results revealed that the impact of perceived efficacy on hope was greater when perceived threat level was higher. Furthermore, evoked hope predicted participants’ intention to adopt a self-protective behavior. The effect of perceived efficacy on intention was mediated by hope, and this mediation effect was greater when a level of perceived threat was higher. The results of this article demonstrate that the emotion of hope needs to be considered as an important affective construct explaining a potential mechanism underlying the persuasive process of fear appeals.
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: Recognizing that social media has become an important place for individuals to acquire vaccine-related information, this study investigated if and how exposure to user-generated comments in social media platforms influences individuals’ attitude toward vaccines. In this investigation, social media comments were investigated in light of their effect on attitude toward vaccines through shaping perception of public consensus, and perceived vaccine efficacy was considered as a moderator of comments’ relative effects. The results from an experimental study (N = 273) showed that an opinion expressed by numerically dominant comments positively predicted participants’ attitude toward the flu vaccine through altering perceived public consensus in the same direction of the comments shown. Moreover, unlike participants with low and medium levels of perceived vaccine efficacy, those with high vaccine efficacy were not influenced by comments when forming perceived public consensus.