III. Message Variables

  1. Arguments
    1. Information that bears on the "central merits" (truth?)
    2. Generates elaborations
    3. Strong args produce favorable elaborations

  2. Evidence (Reinhard, 1988; HCR)
    1. Factual information from another source
    2. Objects not created by the source
    3. Opinions from others offered as support

  3. Impact of Evidence (and Arguments)
    1. Creates strong Att change through elaborative activity
    2. Generates credibililty for source
    3. Repetition can "burn-out"
    4. Redundancy maintains effect
    5. Interacts with Involvement (Stiff, 1986; CM)
    6. Poor delivery diminishes evidence effect

  4. Warning! Danger Ahead!
    1. Anyone who says they know why fear appeals work is a liar or a fool
    2. A careful look at a scandalous literature

  5. Fear Appeals (Boster & Mongeau, 1984; CY)
    1. Threat --- Fear --- Recommendation --- Change
    2. More threat, more fear? More fear, more change?
    3. No and Yes (small effect)

  6. The Latest FA Theory (Witte, 1994; CM)
    1. Extended Parallel Process Model


                                                                  Danger Control      

                                           High --- Think --- Protective Motivation --- Accept
                                             |
Threat --- Appraisal --- Efficacy
                                             |
                                           Low --- Fear ---- Defensive Motivation --- Reject

                                                                     Fear Control

  1. Conclusions about Fear Appeals
    1. We really don't understand it well
    2. A dual process analysis is interesting, but largely untested
    3. Fear appeals are the first choice of an uneducated mind

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Updated March 21, 1996; Copyright © SBB, 1996