Robin L. Nabi

Robin L. Nabi
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Communication

PhD

About

68
Publications
34,573
Reads
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5,952
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (68)
Article
Research identifies contradictory effects of anger in political communication, engendering heuristic processing of information that exacerbates partisan bias in some situations, but increasing attention and deepening information processing in others. This study addressed these contradictions by positing subjective hope as a moderator of anger’s eff...
Article
As a foundational theory in the field of social psychology, social cognitive theory has garnered substantial attention from media psychologists for decades. However, despite the enthusiasm with which media scholars have embraced social cognitive theory, careful testing of the theory's tenets within the context of media effects processes has been li...
Article
Rooted in theories of positive emotions, this research asks the question: Can media be prescribed to help mitigate the negative effects of stress on well-being? Over the course of 5 days, participants were assigned 5-minute YouTube videos pilot tested to evoke hope, amusement, or calmness. Compared to a no-message control, each media group reported...
Article
Although recent streams of research have suggested that emotions play a key role in generating framing effects, little is known about the affective dimension of gain and loss framing and its potential impact on persuasion. The current study adopted a meta-analytical approach, synthesizing over 30 years of literature ( k = 25, N = 5,772), to investi...
Article
This study explored whether satire (an emotional blend of humor/indignation) can minimize the emotional tradeoffs researchers have documented for humorous appeals about climate change. Using a sample of U.S. young adults, we conducted a 2 (humor: present/absent) × 2 (indignation: present/absent) + 1 (control) experiment in which we manipulated a cl...
Article
This study examines how news stories framed in terms of discrete emotions (anger, fear, hope) influence online news message processing and information seeking. Results revealed that participants who read the approach emotion stories (anger and especially hope) spent more time on the story page than those who read the avoidant emotion (fear) story....
Article
Despite the increasing use of anger in persuasive messaging, such as political ads and health campaigns, very little is known about when and how anger affects persuasion. Building on theoretical propositions derived from four theoretical models that have addressed the link between anger and persuasion, the current meta-analysis (k = 55, N = 6,805)...
Article
Substantial research examines the cognitive factors underlying proenviron-mental message effectiveness. In contrast, this study investigates the role of emotion, fear and hope specifically, in the gain/loss framing of environmental policy initiatives. The 2 (threat vs. no threat) × 2 (gain- vs. loss-framed efficacy) experiment revealed emotion, esp...
Article
Fear appeal research has focused, understandably, on fear as the primary emotion motivating attitude and behavior change. However, while the threat component of fear appeals associates with fear responses, a fear appeals’ efficacy component likely associates with a different emotional experience: hope. Drawing from appraisal theories of emotion in...
Article
Despite the substantial attention paid to stress management in the extant coping literature, media use has been surprisingly overlooked as a strategy worthy of close examination. Although media scholars have suggested media use may be driven by a need to relax, related research has been sporadic and, until recently, disconnected from the larger con...
Article
Building on the existing research on the role of media use in coping with negative emotions, this article seeks, first, to replicate previous findings that media consumption may reduce regret and, second, to extend that work by investigating the regret-related cognitive mechanism through which regret reduction occurs. The possible negative conseque...
Chapter
Social cognitive theory, one of the most highly influential and widely celebrated theories in the field of social psychology, has received substantial attention from the field of media effects. However, despite the enthusiasm with which media scholars have embraced social cognitive theory, its integration into media research is still in its infancy...
Chapter
Although the history of the study of media's persuasive influence is long and robust, the examination of emotion in such processes has been more limited. Still, there has been ongoing attention to the role of many emotions, including fear, guilt, and humor, in the processing of media-based persuasive messages. Although less directly focused on emot...
Article
Extant research on parents’ choices for child media consumption focuses exclusively on parental beliefs and motives along with demographic variables. However, given parental choices are made within the context of the parent–child relationship, this study investigates how perceived child characteristics influence parents’ motives for allowing their...
Article
This research explores whether media diet influences health, not through its effects on cognition and behavior but rather through its effects on biomarkers of stress, which are implicated in a host of acute and chronic illnesses. Two hundred and forty young adults completed assessments of their media consumption habits followed at least 2 days late...
Article
In light of the inherent conflict between the nature of science (slow, subject to correction) and the nature of news (immediate, dramatic, novel), this study examines the effect of emotional health news coverage on intentions to engage in protective health behaviors. One hundred seventy-seven students read news stories designed to evoke either fear...
Article
This research examines the possible benefit of using humor to reduce anxiety associated with performing cancer self-examination behaviors. In Study 1, 187 undergraduates read a humorous public service announcement (PSA) script promoting either breast or testicular self-exams. Results suggest that perception of humor reduced anxiety about self-exams...
Chapter
This entry covers the evolution of social cognitive theory, one of the most influential theories on human behavior acquisition with an emphasis on learning through observation. Each of its four primary components is outlined, and the conditions under which behaviors are likely to be adopted are explained.
Article
Full-text available
Offering an initial test of Nabi and Krcmar’s (2004) tripartite model of media enjoyment, this study examines how affective, cognitive, and especially behavioral responses to a participatory reality TV program predict program enjoyment, viewing intention, and future program viewing. Responses to Fox’s American Idol series suggest that affective, co...
Article
Overwhelmingly, the literature on the persuasive influence of emotions has focused on individual emotions, fear in particular, though some recent attention has been given to mixed emotions in persuasive appeals. Building on this newer wave of research, this article argues that instead of focusing on singular emotional states or collections of emoti...
Article
The study of narrative persuasion has increased dramatically in the past decade. Whereas much of this research focuses on story and character involvement, the role of emotion—and emotional flow specifically—has been understudied. In this article, we explore the multiple ways that the desire for and the experience of emotional shifts may promote the...
Article
Despite considerable research and theorizing regarding the process of social comparison, limited attention has been given to the role of discrete emotions in this context, particularly as they may influence the behavioral responses resulting from comparison to similar others. In the context of cosmetic surgery makeover programs, we explore how disc...
Article
Full-text available
The risk convergence model proposes reduction of perceived social distance to a mediated personality as a mechanism through which the mass media can influence audiences' personal risk perceptions. As an initial test of the model, this study examined whether 5 audience variables known to facilitate media effects on personal risk perceptions—identifi...
Article
Abstract There is clear evidence that interpersonal social support impacts stress levels and, in turn, degree of physical illness and psychological well-being. This study examines whether mediated social networks serve the same palliative function. A survey of 401 undergraduate Facebook users revealed that, as predicted, number of Facebook friends...
Chapter
This chapter overviews the history of reality-based TV research, starting with efforts to define the genre and understand why people watch such programming, with particular attention to issues of voyeurism and desire for fame. The discussion then turns to research on the effect of reality TV consumption, which has progressed primarily through the l...
Article
Grounded in social cognitive theory, this research examines the effects of reality entertainment programming and embedded commercials on viewers' perceived motivations and efficacy to exercise and consume a healthy diet as well as on food preference. In a 3 (program type) × 2 (advertisement type) study design, 253 female undergraduates were randoml...
Article
Self-efficacy is a predictor of behavioral performance across a range of health domains, and research suggests that media messages can effectively boost efficacy; however, much is unknown regarding determinants of self-efficacy, and the message features with the greatest potential to alter efficacy perceptions. The authors of this article examined...
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Full-text available
Memorable message research examines interpersonal messages “ … remembered for extremely long periods of time and which people perceive as a major influence on the course of their lives” (Knapp, Stohl, & Reardon, 198122. Knapp , M. L. , Stohl , C. , & Reardon , K. K. ( 1981 ). “Memorable” messages . Journal of Communication , 31 , 27 – 41 . doi:...
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Full-text available
Using Shrum's (1996) heuristic processing model as an explanatory mechanism, we propose that people who hold vivid autobiographical memories for a specific past experience with media violence will overstate the prevalence of real-world crime versus individuals without vivid memories. We also explore the effects of frequency and recency on social re...
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Full-text available
Most studies of news bias judgments and news consumption do not consider the likely emotional responses to news content, and theoretical arguments suggest that approach emotions, like anger, may actually motivate more, not less, news consumption. An experiment found support for hypotheses that bias judgments would positively correlate with anger re...
Article
Entertainment-education (E-E) may offer an effective way to reduce risky behavior by modeling healthy behaviors. Although there is some empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of the E-E strategy, much of this research has been conducted in countries with different media landscapes than that of the United States and controlled experiments i...
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Full-text available
We present data questioning the adequacy of standard back-translation procedures for investigating emotion states across cultures (Brislin, 1970). Our data indicate that the Chinese back-translation of the term disgust has led cross-cultural researchers to accept terms whose themes, goals, and motivations are more akin to the English term anger. Ev...
Article
Appraisal research based on participants' self-report of emotional experiences is predicated on the assumption that the academic community and the lay public share comparable meanings of the emotion terms used. However, this can be a risky assumption to make, as in the case of the emotion disgust which appears in common usage to reflect irritation,...
Article
There are several noteworthy debates associated with the study of emotion. For example, which comes first-emotion or cognition? Or, even more basic, what feature most centrally defines emotion? Although undoubtedly conceptually important, the more pressing question for scholars within our discipline is: which approach to emotion is most useful for...
Article
Research has examined the ability of entertainment-education (E-E) programs to influence behavior across a variety of health and social issues. However, less is known about the underlying mechanisms that account for these effects. In keeping with the extended elaboration likelihood model (E-ELM) and the entertainment overcoming resistance model (EO...
Chapter
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Article
The recent proliferation of reality-based television programs highlighting cosmetic surgery has raised concerns that such programming promotes unrealistic expectations of plastic surgery and increases the desire of viewers to undergo such procedures. In Study 1, a survey of 170 young adults indicated little relationship between cosmetic surgery mak...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on communication accommodation theory in a law enforcement context, young adults rated one of four written vignettes wherein an accommodating or nonaccommodating police officer issued a ticket for a minor or major traffic violation. The officer was rated less favorably along both cognitive and affective dimensions when he nonaccommodated ra...
Article
Despite extensive discussion of the potential for viewers’ social learning of risky health behaviors from TV programming, there has been relatively little effort to test behavioral modeling predictions. That is, it is not clear whether televised depictions of negatively reinforced undesirable behaviors (e.g., unsafe sex), in fact, influence the val...
Article
This research investigates the impact of 3 personality traits—trait anxiety, sensation seeking, and psychoticism—on cultivation effects regarding perceptions of violence. A survey measuring violence prevalence estimates, personality traits, television consumption, and genre preferences was completed by 427 undergraduates. Results indicate that low...
Article
Full-text available
This research investigates the role of perceived health knowledge on the effectiveness of fear-based persuasive appeals. Undergraduates (N = 263) read a strong fear, weak fear, or efficacy-only message encouraging breast or testicular self-examination. As expected, results indicated that men high in subjective knowledge were less reactant and more...
Article
This research examines the dimensions underlying reality-based TV programs as a first step towards uncovering the reality programming subgroups that might exist in viewers' minds and the themes that might distinguish them. Two samples—one of students and one of city residents—engaged in a sorting task of 33 reality-based programs. Multidimensional...
Article
Full-text available
This research was designed to assess the effects of contemporary political humor on information processing and persuasion, focusing specifically on two competing processes: processing motivation/counterargument distraction and message discounting. In Study 1, 212 undergraduates read one of four monologues by political comedian Bill Maher. Correlati...
Article
Testing hypotheses derived from regret and mood management theories, this research explores how regretted experiences impact interest in viewing experience-relevant TV programming and such viewing’s effects on program enjoyment and felt regret. One hundred and forty-four participants, half of whom had been unfaithful in romantic relationships, were...
Article
This article reports the results of two studies designed to compare predictors of enjoyment of reality-based and fictional television programming. In Study 1, 260 adults completed a survey of their cognitive and emotional reactions to either the fictional or reality-based programming that they generally watch. In Study 2, 502 adults completed a sim...
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Full-text available
This paper reviews and summarizes the literature on the relationship between emotion and persuasion as it bears on the production of cancer prevention and detection messages. A series of propositions are presented that serve to illustrate the intricacies of the emotion–persuasion relationship. These propositions deal with the necessary conditions f...
Article
Drawing from cognitive response models of persuasion, functional emotion theories, and theoretical and empirical work on the influence of message-relevant and message-irrelevant affect on attitudes, this paper presents a model of persuasion that suggests that discrete, message-induced negative emotions influence attitudes through a complex process...
Article
Conceptualizing talk shows as persuasive messages and based on dual-processing models of persuasion, we explored the effects of nonverbal reactions of a talk show host and studio audience members to arguments presented by a talk show guest on a low-involvement topic. Participants viewed 1 of 4 versions of a talk show segment in which host and studi...
Article
Despite its popularity in mass media effects research, the concept of media enjoyment has yet to be clearly explicated or theoretically integrated into media effects theories. In this analysis, the authors begin to address these limitations by first reviewing terms that have been used to capture the concept of media enjoyment, considering their und...
Article
This article introduces the special issue on media enjoyment. The motivation for this special issue grew out of a recognition that although viewers' uses and enjoyment of media content have been explored from a variety of perspectives, the majority of this research has examined factors associated with variations in, predictors of, and outcomes asso...
Article
Despite the general presence of reality-based television programming for more than a decade and its recent increasing popularity, the extant literature on the phenomenon is limited. In Study 1, we considered how the viewing public constructs the so-called genre of reality-based TV. Multidimensional space analysis based on the Q-sort responses of 38...
Article
This study explores the role of emotionally evocative visuals in the inoculation process. 127 respondents supportive of medical experimentation with animals either received no inoculation message or were exposed to 1 of 4 versions of an inoculation video in which the identical audio was accompanied by visuals manipulated to evoke relatively high or...
Article
The persuasive effects of emotions have been the focus of burgeoning interest in recent years. Rather than considering how emotions function within traditional paradigms of attitude change, this research explores the possibility that emotions serve as frames for issues, privileging certain information in terms of accessibility and thus guiding subs...
Article
The cognitive-functional model of discrete negative emotions and attitude change (CFM; Nabi, 1999) attempts to bridge the theoretical gap between "emotional" and "rational" approaches to persuasion by focusing on how emotions motivate attention to and processing of persuasive messages. As a first test of the CFM, this study explored the effects of...
Article
One explanation for the high divorce rate in our society focuses on the idealistic expectations with which many people enter into marriage. The media have been cited as the source of or major contributor to these expectations; however, no empirical evidence exists to support that claim. Based on a survey of 285 never-married university students, th...
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Full-text available
This study examined the relative perceived effectiveness of 30 antidrug public service announcements (PSAs) and assessed the extent to which judgments of effectiveness are related to judgments of realism, amount learned, and positive and negative emotional responses. Data were obtained from 3608 students in grades 5 through 12 in 10 schools. The et...
Article
A central assumption of many models of human behavior is that intention to perform a behavior is highly predictive of actual behavior. This article presents evidence that belies this notion. Based on a survey of 1,250 Philadelphia adults, a clear and consistent pattern emerged suggesting that beliefs related to domestic violence correlate with inte...
Article
As a theory of media effects, cultivation suggests that television viewing influences beliefs and opinions about the real world. As a model of social influence, the theory of reasoned action focuses on predicting behaviors based on salient beliefs and attitudes. This study attempts to elaborate cultivation theory by using a theory of reasoned actio...
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Full-text available
Working from the conceptualization of abused women as both victims of and experts on spousal abuse, this study compares how women who have been abused, and how men and women with either less direct or no experience with spousal abuse, understand the problem and their beliefs about how it should be addressed. Results of a telephone survey of Philade...
Article
Despite its obvious intersection with classic fear‐inducing stimuli, like rotting teeth and diseased lungs, disgust as a discrete emotion has been all but ignored in the persuasion literature. This study marks an initial effort to explore the effect of disgust as the dominant emotion evoked by a persuasive appeal on attitude change. 134 college stu...
Article
Drawing from cognitive response persuasion theories, functional emotion theories, and theoretical and empirical work on the influence of message-relevant and message-irrelevant affect on attitudes, this dissertation presents a cognitive-functional model of persuasion (CFM) designed to broaden the limited theorizing available on the persuasive effec...

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