This May Come As a Surprise: How Prior Knowledge of Information in a Fear Appeal is Associated with Message Outcomes

C. J. M. Jansen, Burt Davis

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    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    Two related studies were performed aimed at finding if and how prior knowledge of threat and efficacy information in a fear appeal message is associated with message outcomes (attitude and behavioural intentions). the extended Parallel Process model (ePPm) (Witte 1992; 1998) served as theoretical framework for one study about a chlamydia fear appeal (n = 57) and another about an alcohol abuse fear appeal (n = 59). Findings from both studies suggest that prior knowledge of threat information is hardly relevant for readers’ reactions to a fear appeal message. Prior knowledge of efficacy information, however, proved to play a more important role, most often in a positive way. Findings from both studies furthermore suggest that the ePPm may be incorrect in assuming that individual differences – in this case, in prior knowledge – may only affect fear appeal outcomes in an indirect way, that is through different perceptions of threat and efficacy.
    Translated title of the contributionDit komt misschien als een verassing: voorkennis over informatie in een Fear Appeal wordt geassocieerd met Message outcomes
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)398-421
    Number of pages24
    JournalCommunicatio; South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 23-Sept-2016


    • Fear Appeals
    • Message Outcomes
    • Chlamydia
    • Alcohol Abuse

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