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Self-Affirmation Before Exposure to Health Communications Promotes Intentions and Health Behavior Change by Increasing Anticipated Regret

Citation

van Koningsbruggen, GM and Harris, PR and Smits, AJ and Schuz, B and Scholz, U and Cooke, R, Self-Affirmation Before Exposure to Health Communications Promotes Intentions and Health Behavior Change by Increasing Anticipated Regret, Communication Research pp. 1-19. ISSN 1552-3810 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 SAGE Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/0093650214555180

Abstract

Health-risk information can elicit negative emotions like anticipated regret that may positively affect health persuasion. The beneficial impact of such emotions is undermined when target audiences respond defensively to the threatening information. We tested whether self-affirming (reflecting on cherished attributes) before message exposure can be used as strategy to enhance the experience of anticipated regret. Women were self-affirmed or not before exposure to a message promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Self-affirmation increased anticipated regret and intentions reported following message exposure and consumption in the week after the intervention; regret mediated the affirmation effect on intentions. Moreover, results suggest that anticipated regret and intentions are serial mediators linking selfaffirmation and behavior. By demonstrating the mediating role of anticipated regret, we provide insights into how self-affirmation may promote healthy intentions and behavior following health message exposure. Self-affirmation techniques could thus potentially be used to increase the effectiveness of health communication efforts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:self-affirmation, health behaviour, anticipated regret, risk perception, fear appeals
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and Health
Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:96494
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-11-07
Last Modified:2017-10-20
Downloads:0

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