Lijiang Shen

Lijiang Shen
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Communication Arts and Sciences

Ph.D.

About

78
Publications
89,532
Reads
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3,762
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
2356 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor
July 2015 - June 2019
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2011 - June 2015
University of Georgia
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 1999 - May 2005
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Field of study
  • Communication Arts
September 1991 - June 1999
Peking University
Field of study
  • English

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Background: Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is associated with many negative health outcomes. Efforts to curb consumption generally take one of two approaches: (a) Individual change based on the communication of personal risk information or (b) policies that limit or disincentivize the behavior, such as restricting access or implementin...
Article
Forty years ago in 1983, W. Phillips Davison coined the term "third-person effect," generating a robust outpouring of research. This paper places the third-person effect in the contemporary age, one vastly different from the era in which Davison conceptualized perceptions of media effects. The article first describes the historical, sociological cl...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a longitudinal, latent growth curve (LGC) modeling approach to refine the emotional flow measure and hypothesis testing. Emotional flow is operationalized as the marked within-individuals variations in one or more discrete emotions over time, which can be modeled as the amount and shape of change in emotions during message expos...
Article
Message fatigue is the aversive motivational state that results from excessive exposure to campaign messages or similar information over an extended period of time. When fatigued, individuals become less attentive, less responsive, and more resistant to campaign messages and related information. Thus, understanding the bases and functioning of fati...
Article
Definitions and measures of discrete emotions are thorny issues in research on affect, resulting from the multitude of emotion theories and approaches to this concept; there is no gold standard for measures of discrete emotions. The utility of measurement methods should be compared across multiple perspectives to allow some degree of cumulativeness...
Article
Psychological reactance theory (PRT) proposes that the importance of freedom, along with threat to freedom and receiver personality trait, impacts the arousal of psychological reactance and the subsequent freedom restoration. This paper presents a 2 (threat: low vs. high) × 3 (source: the CDC, victim of the health issue vs. AI) × 2 (health topic: c...
Article
Efforts by universities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include health campaigns intended to encourage students to wear masks. While well-intended, these efforts may produce counter-persuasion (e.g., decrease masking) if they are seen as threatening individuals’ freedom to choose. In a rolling cross-sectional study of one university campaign (n =...
Article
A web-based two (preexisting position: correct vs. incorrect) by two (message type: scientific information vs. misinformation) by three (messages) mixed design experimental study was conducted to test confirmation bias as a mechanism underlying the persistence of misinformation on climate change and to examine attitude certainty as a moderator of c...
Article
This entry summarizes Greenwald's cognitive response theory including its assumption and main tenet that message receivers' cognitive response to a persuasive message produces persuasion, rather than the message per se. A definition of cognitive response is presented, measurement and analyses of cognitive responses are discussed, and the impact of...
Article
This entry summarizes how the construct of involvement is treated in different models of persuasion and media effects, including its definition, typology, and its impact on persuasion and media effects. Involvement in persuasion and media effects is differentiated from a similar construct in narrative communication. The definitions and measurement...
Article
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Purpose: The purpose was to explore the underlying mechanisms that drive relationships between knowledge, attitudes and intervening bystander behavior to improve bystander violence prevention program effectiveness. Perceptual effects theory was used to understand third-person and first-person perceptions (TPP and FPP) as related to bystander inter...
Article
A web-based 2 (preexisting position: vaccine-inclined vs. -hesitant) by 2 (message type: scientific evidence vs. misinformation) experimental study was conducted to investigate individuals’ processing of misinformation (vis-à-vis scientific evidence) on the vaccine-autism link within the framework of epistemic egocentrism. Data (N = 996) collected...
Article
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The influence of presumed influence hypothesis (IPI) is a communication theory accounting for the process of persuasive media effects. The present study integrates theoretical perspectives in persuasion and new and traditional media effects research to investigate the assumptions and explanatory mechanisms of IPI in an experiment. View numbers in s...
Article
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Background: Exposure to risk behavior on social media is associated with risk behavior tendencies among adolescents, but research on the mechanisms underlying the effects of social media exposure is sparse. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the motivations of social media use and the mediating and moderating mechanisms of their effects...
Article
The study investigated the impact of fear and state empathy on persuasion and social stigma. Eighteen professionally produced public service announcements (PSAs) were employed as stimuli in a 2 (message topic: antidrug vs. safe driving) × 3 (message type: empathy vs. fear vs. control) × 3 (messages) mixed-design experiment. Participants (N = 406) w...
Article
Abstract A-holes threaten the overall well-being of many social systems. This study explicates, constructs, and validates a measure for a-holism in relational communication. We identified and constructed items for four dimensions of the a-holism construct: verbal aggression, dominance, entitlement, and resistance to feedback. An online survey was...
Article
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In this paper, we explicate health uncertainty as the psychological state in which one is incapable of appraising his/her health status and/or making health-related decisions. Health uncertainty comprises four dimensions: information uncertainty, condition uncertainty, efficacy uncertainty, and emotion uncertainty. A 17-item scale was developed as...
Article
There has been evidence that empathy-arousing messages might be an effective and ethical approach to persuasion in health communication. Knowledge of intrinsic message features is needed to better design and craft such messages. The goals of this research were (a) to identify message features with the potential to arouse state empathy, (b) to verif...
Article
To enhance message impact, threat appeals often include disgusting imagery. Theorizing multi-emotion messages may benefit from juxtaposition of the argumentation and emotion literatures. Doing so yields a distinction between the thematic and supporting functions of emotion, which allows precise predictions concerning when and why emotions are persu...
Article
Explicating the third-person perception (TPP) as a cognitive fallacy in the process of comparative social judgment of media effects, we propose that not all self-other perceptual gaps in media effects should be considered as TPP. When there is reasonably valid and accurate information regarding self vis-à-vis others on media consumption and vulnera...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops and tests a comprehensive psychological model of how narrative messages persuade. In this model, perceived realism and perceived similarity are considered as the antecedents of narrative en- gagement variables. There are three forms of narrative engagement, transportation, identi cation, and para- social interaction, which are c...
Article
This study assesses and compares two forms of measurement instrument for message elaboration in narrative communication research: self-report vs. thought-listing. The validity of the two forms was investigated in a nomological network consisting of need for cognition, message sensation value, identification, transportation, parasocial interaction,...
Article
The overwhelming majority of fear appeal research came from the between-individuals approach and yielded consistent evidence for a linear fear–persuasion relationship. A recent review suggested that the within-individuals approach might be more appropriate. Studies that measured fear at multiple time points have consistently revealed a curvilinear...
Article
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The rise of large cohort-based health research that includes genetic components has increased the communication challenges for researchers. Controversies have been amplified over requirements for re-consent, return of results, and privacy protections, among other issues. This study extended research on the impact that the perceived role of "researc...
Article
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One of the earliest theories of threat appeals, the drive model, predicts that the fear–persuasion relationship is characterized by an inverted U-curve. Evidence of such a curve has proven elusive, probably because, in reality, there are two curvilinear hypotheses, not one. Existing primary studies and meta-analyses have tested the between-persons...
Chapter
Longitudinal designs involve at least three waves of observations of the phenomenon under investigation. This entry discusses the types of longitudinal design, its advantages over cross-sectional design, and primary reasons for selecting longitudinal design over cross-sectional design. The property of longitudinal data is also discussed, followed b...
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The study tested (a) the extent to which an inverted-U pattern of fear response predicted persuasion, (b) the degree to which the fear curve mediated the effects of the four components of threat appeals on persuasion, (c) the correspondence between the static measures of fear used in between-subjects designs and the dynamic indices required by the...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological reactance and related defensive processes have been long cited as an explanation for failure of fear appeal messages. The overwhelming majority of studies on fear and reactance have only examined the intensity of fear from a between-individuals perspective, in which individuals who have higher peak fear are predicted to experience str...
Article
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A field experiment study (N=189) was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of empathy appeal anti-smoking messages and its potential advantage over fear appeal messages. Data from 12 anti-smoking PSAs showed that (1) smokers resist anti-smoking messages, and (2) overall empathy appeal was equally effective as fear appeal messages. There was al...
Article
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This study reports a quasi-experiment (N= 374) that examined an underlying mechanism through which narratives can facilitate personalization of risk. The participants were exposed to one of four entertainment clips depicting an at-risk character who was either tested positive or negative for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As predicted, reduc...
Article
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A 2 (Threat: high vs. low) × 2 (Frame: gain vs. loss) × 2 (Choice: yes vs. no) × 2 (Behavior: prevention vs. detection) factorial design Web-based experiment (N = 814) was conducted to investigate the impact of threat to freedom, message frame, and behavioral choice as antecedents to psychological reactance. The intertwined model for reactance meas...
Article
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The accessibility of attitudes and norms (i.e., how quickly they are activated from memory) has been shown to predict young adult cigarette smoking, but prior work has not examined this effect in young adolescents or with other health risk behaviors. In this study, the accessibility of attitudes and norms was used to predict young adolescent (N = 3...
Article
Full-text available
Theories of threat appeals have been rightly concerned with the form of the relationship between fear and persuasion: Linear or curvilinear. They have not, however, clearly distinguished the question as a between- or within-persons phenomenon. In fact, the literature often treats these two perspectives as if they were interchangeable. We show that...
Article
We argue that evidence for and utility of the Influence of Presumed Influence (IPI) model lies in a robust causal chain in the form of self‐exposure → other‐exposure → perceived effects on others → behavior. A review of extant literature reveals competing theoretical explanations, as well as the possibility that a method factor (question order) cou...
Article
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Using six television public service announcements (PSAs) and with a 3 (message topic) × 4 (frame combination) × 2 (messages) mixed design (N = 270), this study explores the impact of incidental affect on message processing in a broader horizon that incorporates operationalization of depth of message processing and how incidental affect is conceptua...
Article
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Perceived lack of realism in alcohol advertising messages promising positive outcomes and antialcohol and antidrug messages portraying negative outcomes of alcohol consumption has been a cause for public health concern. This study examined the effects of perceived realism dimensions on personal probability estimation through identification and mess...
Chapter
This chapter reviews persuasion as a form of communication, and focuses on the social scientific study of persuasion since the mid-twentieth century. The chapter provides an overview of some key theories and models of persuasion that focuses on the process of persuasion, including cognitively-oriented theories (cognitive dissonance, balance, congru...
Article
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This experiment examined the interaction effects of message framing and counterfactual thinking on attitudes toward binge drinking and behavioral intentions. Data from a 2 (message framing: gain vs. loss) × 2 (counterfactual thinking priming: additive vs. subtractive) between-subjects factorial design showed that a gain-framed message resulted in l...
Article
Full-text available
A 2 (frame: gain vs. loss) × 2 (evaluative input: high vs. low) × 3 (target behavior: sunscreen, self-exam, and indoor tanning) quasi-experimental study (N = 452) was conducted to test moderators of message framing effect. The results showed that effectiveness of a frame is a function of its evaluative input. There was evidence that the gain frame...
Article
Full-text available
Perceived realism may be a crucial message characteristic facilitating narrative-based persuasion. This study examined dimensions of perceived realism and their roles in narrative persuasion. Data based on responses to messages on three topics showed that perceived realism was multidimensional. Its dimensions included plausibility, typicality, fact...
Article
Full-text available
This study proposes the third-person perception (TPP) can be viewed as a type of comparative social judgment in the domain of media influence, in that it is a function of assimilation, contrast, and anchoring mechanisms in the process of social comparison. The derived hypotheses were tested with web-based experimental data (N = 511). Results showed...
Chapter
In this chapter, fatalism is conceptualized as a set of health beliefs that encompass the dimensions of predetermination, luck, and pessimism. It is argued that such fatalistic beliefs can be extended from health issues to organizational context as well. A recently developed fatalism scale is assessed, as well as other existing instruments using th...
Book
The Second Edition of The SAGE Handbook of Persuasion: Developments in Theory and Practice provides readers with logical, comprehensive summaries of research in a wide range of areas related to persuasion. From a topical standpoint, this handbook takes an interdisciplinary approach, covering issues that will be of interest to interpersonal and mass...
Article
Full-text available
Public understanding of the relationship between health behaviors and genes is likely to affect the motivational impact of learning information about one's own genes. Extant research has featured difficulty measuring public understandings of this relationship. This essay explores public understanding of the relationship between genes and behavior,...
Article
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Building on a previous study (Shen, 2010), this paper investigates the effectiveness of fear- versus empathy-arousing antismoking PSAs and examines the roles of message-induced fear and state empathy in persuasion. Twelve professionally produced antismoking PSAs were used as stimuli messages in a 3 (message type: empathy, fear vs. control) × 4 (mes...
Article
Full-text available
This investigation focused on the information-seeking behaviors of parents (N = 38) whose newborn had received a positive screening result for cystic fibrosis. Roughly half of the participants actively sought information about their child's potential disease prior to the clinic visit. The most common sources of information were the Internet, pediat...
Article
Full-text available
State empathy during message processing was conceptualized as a process where perception of the characters’ state automatically activates the recipient's vicarious experience of their state, situation, and object, which automatically primes and generates the associated automatic and somatic responses that precede persuasion outcomes. It was propose...
Article
This article examines the role of message-induced state empathy in persuasion. Message-induced empathy is conceptualized as a perception-action process that consists of affective, cognitive, and associative components. Twenty professionally produced public service announcements (PSAs) were used as stimuli messages in a 2 (high vs. low empathy) × 2...
Article
Full-text available
Using 16 television Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and with a 2 (valence)×2 (action tendency)×4 (sequence) mixed design, an experiment (N=245) examined the impact of behavioral inhibition/activation systems (BIS/BAS) on affect. Two hypotheses (valence vs. action tendency) derived from the nature of emotions and properties of BIS/BAS were teste...
Article
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This study investigated whether and how message frames in anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) affect individuals' cognition and attitude toward smoking. Individuals in a sample of 315 participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental framing conditions: (a) health consequence, (b) secondhand smoke, and (c) industry manip...
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Recognizing insufficient direct tests of the cognitive and motivational explanations of the third-person perception (TPP), this study formulated and tested a set of hypotheses derived from them with web-based survey data (N=575). The motivational explanation appears to receive more support than the cognitive account. Consistent with the motivationa...
Article
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A disparity exists between studies reporting that genetics discourse produces deterministic or fatalistic responses and studies reporting that the majority of laypeople do not hold or adopt genetically deterministic views. This article reports data from an interview study (n = 50), and an interpretation of those data grounded in materialist underst...
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Although several theoretical perspectives predict that negatively framed messages will be processed more deeply than positively framed messages, a recent meta-analysis found no such difference. In this article, the authors explore 2 explanations for this inconsistency. One possibility is methodological: the statistics used in the primary studies un...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we conceptualised fatalism as a set of health beliefs that encompass the dimensions of predetermination, luck and pessimism. A 20-item scale was developed as a measurement instrument. Confirmatory factor analyses were performed to test the dimensionality of the scale. Three external variables (i.e. genetic determinism, perceived be...
Article
The primary goal of this study was to determine the extent to which religious frameworks inform lay public understandings of genes and disease. Contrary to existing research, there were minimal differences between racial groups. We did, however, observe two patterns in that data that are worthy of discussion. First, because participants were from t...
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This article examines how cognitive structures and processes that highlight some aspects of messages but inhibit the salience of others affect adolescents' processing of public service announcements (PSAs). The cognitive structures assessed were attitude accessibility and decision styles (need for cognition and faith in intuition). A 2 (gender: mal...
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Full-text available
The third-person effect hypothesis has generated a vibrant research area. The expansion of this literature poses need for a systematic synthesis of the empirical evidence and assessment of the viability of various theoretical accounts. For this purpose, a meta-analysis is conducted on all published empirical studies of the perceptual component. Thi...
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This article examines the behavioral hypothesis of the third-person effect. It argues that self-other disparities in perceived message effects lead to specific rectifying behaviors due to, presumably, a recognition of the problematic situation defined by perceived effects. Such behaviors would be aimed at restricting messages with negative influenc...
Article
Full-text available
The dramatic increase in genetic knowledge engendered by the mapping of the human genome brings with it a need for greater understanding of how to effectively communicate genetic risk information. Using a combination of observational and self-report data, this study examined potential threats to effective risk communication in 17 families whose inf...
Article
Full-text available
Can perceived message effectiveness (PE) be considered a cause of actual effectiveness (AE)? If so, PE judgments can be used as valid indicators of the persuasiveness of messages in the preimplementation phase of campaigns. In addition, manipulating PE may be a viable persuasive strategy. But, if the reverse causal sequence obtains (AE→PE), then th...
Article
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Two experiments examine the role of message framing and behavioral inhibition/ approach systems (BIS/BAS) on affect, cognition, attitude, and behavioral intention. The results show that advantage framing yields stronger positive emotions, whereas disadvantage framing produces stronger negative emotions. BIS and BAS show a complex pattern of associa...
Article
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Genetic counseling is a communication process with two main functions: information provision and supportive counseling. The information transmission function may be compromised by disruptions that occur during counseling. At least two mediators are possible: (a) disruptions may interfere with memory by creating distractions and divided attention du...
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This article takes a talk-centered perspective on a mediated presidential campaign. It argues that election campaigns can be conceived of as collective deliberations and that informal political talk during a campaign may be examined as an analytical category in its own right. Analyzing the National Election Study 2000 panel data (n = 1,555), this a...
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Full-text available
The theory of psychological reactance (Brehm, 1966; Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Wicklund, 1974) has often been called upon to explain the failure of persuasive attempts, and/or the “boomerang effect” in persuasion (Buller, Borland, & Burgoon, 1998; Burgoon, Alvaro, Grandpre, & Voulodakis, 2002; Grandpre, Alvaro, Burgoon, Miller, & Hall, 2003; Ringold, 200...
Chapter
Full-text available
The theory of psychological reactance (Brehm, 1966; Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Wicklund, 1974) has often been called upon to explain the failure of persuasive attempts, and/or the “boomerang effect” in persuasion (Buller, Borland, & Burgoon, 1998; Burgoon, Alvaro, Grandpre, & Voulodakis, 2002; Grandpre, Alvaro, Burgoon, Miller, & Hall, 2003; Ringold, 200...
Chapter
Full-text available
According to appraisal theories of emotion, negative emotions arise from the perception that the environment is in an incongruent relationship with the individual’s goals (Dillard, 1997; Frijda, 1986; Lazarus, 1991). In contrast, when an individual judges that the current environment is likely to facilitate his or her goals, positive emotions follo...
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Full-text available
The Hong Psychological Reactance Scale (HPRS; Hong & Felda, 1996) was developed to measure the individual difference in reactance proneness, that is, a person's trait propensity to experience psychological reactance. We performed confirmatory factor analyses to test the dimensionality of the 11-item version of the HPRS. Three message outcome variab...
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Full-text available
Reactance theory might be profitably applied to understanding failures in persuasive health communication but for one drawback: The developer of the theory contends that reactance cannot be measured. Rejecting this position, this paper develops four alternative conceptual perspectives on the nature of reactance (i.e., combinations of cognition and...
Article
Full-text available
The investigation examined attitude accessibility as an alternative to the accepted explanation, which is based on threat and counterarguing, for the way that inoculation confers resistance to influence. A total of 333 participants took part in the study in three phases spanning 36 days. The results of multivariate and correlational analyses indica...

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Projects

Projects (9)
Project
Explores the impact of over time, within-individuals variations in discrete emotions on persuasion and media effects.
Project
Social Media and Public Health
Project
Processing of persuasive/media messages