Investigating Consumer Message Processing of Fear and Challenge Based Advertising: A Conceptual Framework.
The proposed conceptual framework further advance our theoretical understanding of consumer cognitive, emotional and behavioral processes associated with fear/challenge message appeals in a social marketing context. We integrate disparate areas of knowledge from the fields of psychology and personality research and examine moderating effects of individual differences such as experiential avoidance, distress tolerance, and identity styles on information processing and behavior when exposed to a combined fear/challenge appeal. The proposed theoretical framework combines an information processing construct with a revised protection motivation model, to more explicitly reveal how cognitive processing affects persuasion of fear/challenge appeals. The conceptual framework also tests the mediating effects of response efficacy and self-accountability on depth of information processing and attitude change. Understanding the intricate details of information processing should enable social marketers to tailor messages to specific psychological profiles of customers in order to alter their behavior.