Are Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels an Effective Message Strategy? A Test of Psychological Reactance Theory and Source Appraisal

Nicole R. LaVoie, Brian L Quick, Julius M. Riles, Natalie J. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine psychological reactance in response to graphic cigarette warning labels and to strengthen and expand on the current literature by using validated measures. Young adults (N = 435) were randomly assigned to a cigarette package featuring a graphic image or a package featuring no image. Utilizing both structural equation modeling and multivariate analyses, the results indicate that graphic warning labels are associated with freedom threat perceptions directly and reactance indirectly. In addition, exposure to graphic cigarette warning labels resulted in higher freedom threat perceptions, negative cognitions, and source domineeringness. Our results are considered with an emphasis on the theoretical and practical implications for policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-436
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Research
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • fear appeals
  • graphic images
  • psychological reactance
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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