Self-persuasion in media messages: Reducing alcohol consumption among students with open-ended questions
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SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology - Applied, 24, 1, (2018), pp. 81-91
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Experimental Psychology - Applied
SubjectCommunication and Media
Self-persuasion (self-generation of arguments) is often a more effective influence technique than direct persuasion (providing arguments). However, the application of this technique in health media communications has received limited attention. In two experiments, it was examined whether self-persuasion can be successfully applied to antialcohol media communications by framing the message as an open-ended question. In Experiment 1 (N = 131) cognitive reactions to antialcohol posters framed either as open-ended questions or statements were examined. In Experiment 2 (N = 122) the effectiveness of this framing to reduce actual alcohol consumption was tested. Experiment 1 demonstrated that exposure to an antialcohol poster framed as an open-ended question resulted in more self-generated arguments for drinking less alcohol and more favorable message evaluations than framing the same message as a statement. Experiment 2 showed that the self-persuasion poster did not affect the choice to consume alcohol but did reduce alcohol consumption for individuals who chose to drink any alcohol, compared with a direct persuasion poster or no intervention. Together, the results demonstrated the potential of self-persuasion in persuasive media messages for interventions aimed at alcohol consumption reduction specifically and for health communication in general.
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