This investigation sought to advance the extended parallel process model in important ways by testing associations among the strengths of efficacy and threat appeals with fear as well as two outcomes of fear-control processing, psychological reactance and message minimization. Within the context of print ads admonishing against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and the fictitious Trepidosis virus, partial support was found for the additive model with no support for the multiplicative model. High efficacy appeals mitigated freedom threat perceptions across both contexts. Fear was positively associated with both freedom threat perceptions within the NIHL context and favorable attitudes for both NIHL and Trepidosis virus contexts. In line with psychological reactance theory, a freedom threat was positively associated with psychological reactance. Reactance, in turn, was positively associated with message minimization. The models supported reactance preceding message minimization across both message contexts. Both the theoretical and practical implications are discussed with an emphasis on future research opportunities within the fear-appeal literature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)