With messages relating to health, prior research has demonstrated that the message is more effective if matched to important characteristics of the recipient, an idea known by psychologists as the congruency effect. For example, loss-framed messages, which highlight the risks in not engaging in a health behavior, are more effective in promoting health behavior change for avoidance-oriented people, or those who avoid negative outcomes. Conversely, gain-framed messages, which communicate the benefits of engaging in a particular health behavior, are more effective for approach-oriented people, or those who are motivated by positive outcomes.
In a newly published Journal of Experimental Social Psychology article, Dr. John Updegraff, assistant professor of psychology at Kent State University, and colleagues, Dr. David Sherman, assistant professor of psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Dr. Traci L. Mann, associate professor of psychology at University of Minnesota, examined whether the strength of health messages regarding the importance of dental flossing had any effect on the recipient’s attitude or behavior. Specifically, recipients received messages that either emphasized the potential benefits of regular flossing (gain-framed) or messages that reviewed the potential dangers of not flossing (loss-framed). Both strong and weak versions of each message type were used.
“When we varied how convincing the messages were, we found that only those who received messages matching their motivational orientation were paying enough attention to notice the difference between strong and weak messages,” says Updegraff. Particularly, strong messages created more favorable attitudes towards flossing than weak messages, and were more effective in changing behavior. When messages were relatively weak or contained anecdotal evidence, tailoring the message seemed to have little effect.
“That tells us when someone reads a message that is congruent with his disposition, he’s really paying attention to it,” says Updegraff. “It changes the way people process health messages These findings can help health practitioners improve their communications with patients.”
Updegraff can be reached at 330-672-4731 or email@example.com.
Melissa Edler | EurekAlert!
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.
The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
11.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses
11.12.2018 | Health and Medicine
11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy