Accentuate the negative: Social images in the prediction and promotion of condom use

H Blanton*, R.J.J.M. van den Eijnden, B.P. Buunk, FX Gibbons, M Gerrard, A.B. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on the negativity bias in person perception, we argue that behavioral decisions related to condom use are influenced by the social images that an individual has of people who do not use condoms, but that they are not influenced by the social images that an individual has of people who do use condoms. Three studies with college student samples indicated that the negative evaluations of people who do not use condoms predicts willingness to have sex without condoms. In contrast, positive evaluations of people who do use condoms showed no unique predictions. A fourth study demonstrated that a health message emphasizing the negative social consequences of having sex without condoms decreased willingness to have unsafe sex in comparison to a control, whereas a message that emphasized the positive social consequences of using condoms had no such effects on willingness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-295
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of applied social psychology
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2001

Keywords

  • POSSIBLE SELVES
  • SMOKING CESSATION
  • EXTREMITY BIASES
  • TYPICAL SMOKER
  • RISK BEHAVIOR
  • HEALTH RISK
  • SELF
  • PERCEPTION
  • ADOLESCENCE
  • DELINQUENCY

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