Most health communication research is grounded in theories of rational human behavior, which emphasize the role of cognition in health-related decision making. The role of affect-particularly pre-exposure mood-as a determinant of responses to health campaigns is underexplored. Using experimental data, the present study describes variations in attitudinal and behavioral responses to health communication as a function of preexisting mood (positive/negative), message relevance (high/low), and health message type (prevention/detection). Data show that message relevance moderated the effects of health message type under positive, but not under negative, mood.
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