'If you care, do not share': Exploring effects of using rhetorical figures in HIV and AIDS messages on young South Africans' willingness to engage in conversations.

Elizabeth Lubinga, Carel Jansen, A Maes

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    6 Citaten (Scopus)


    Health communication campaigns today often use messages which include verbal and/or visual rhetorical figures. Rhetorical figures may be used with the intention of puzzling audiences, and ultimately provoking discussions about the addressed health-related issues. This study investigates the effects of using deliberately puzzling verbal and visual rhetorical figures in health messages targeted at South African youth. It explores which message variables may predict the audience’s willingness to engage in discussions with friends or older people. Four different HIV and AIDS posters, in four different versions of rhetorical figures, were presented to 160 young South Africans. The verbal rhetorical figures that were used significantly and negatively affected the receivers’ (actual and perceived) comprehension, the perceived comprehension by friends, the perceived personal relevance, as well as their willingness to discuss the message with friends. No significant main effects were found
    of the visual rhetorical figures used. One significant interaction effect was found of verbal and visual rhetorical figures: the absence of both verbal and visual rhetorical figures led to the highest level of willingness to discuss messages with older people. Significant positive predictors of the receivers’ willingness to discuss messages with friends proved to be perceived comprehension by friends, perceived personal relevance, and perceived own comprehension. Willingness to discuss messages with older people was positively related to perceived comprehension by older people, and to perceived personal relevance.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)49-68
    TijdschriftCommunicatio; South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research
    Nummer van het tijdschrift1
    StatusPublished - 2014

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