The Relative Persuasiveness of Gain-Framed Loss-Framed Messages for Encouraging Disease Prevention Behaviors: A Meta-Analytic Review

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3545, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 10/2007; 12(7):623-44. DOI: 10.1080/10810730701615198
Source: PubMed


A meta-analytic review of 93 studies (N = 21,656) finds that in disease prevention messages, gain-framed appeals, which emphasize the advantages of compliance with the communicator's recommendation, are statistically significantly more persuasive than loss-framed appeals, which emphasize the disadvantages of noncompliance. This difference is quite small (corresponding to r = .03), however, and appears attributable to a relatively large (and statistically significant) effect for messages advocating dental hygiene behaviors. Despite very good statistical power, the analysis finds no statistically significant differences in persuasiveness between gain- and loss-framed messages concerning other preventive actions such as safer-sex behaviors, skin cancer prevention behaviors, or diet and nutrition behaviors.

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    • "O'Keefe and Jensen's (2009) analysis also found that for disease prevention, gain messages were more effective than loss messages (r D .046). However, according to O'Keefe and Jenson (2009), the difference between gain and loss messages was not significant. In light of these prior results, the overall effect size for narrative messages is fairly respectable. "
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    ABSTRACT: This meta-analysis assessed the persuasive effects of narratives in health communication. A search of the literature identified 25 studies (N D 9,330) that examined the effects of narratives on persuasion as measured by changes in attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Analyses of the effect sizes indicated that, overall, narratives had a small impact on persuasion (r D .063, p < .01). Narratives delivered via audio and video produced significant effects; print-based narratives, however, did not exhibit a significant impact. Further, not all health issues were equally affected by narrative messages aiming at intervention. Those narratives that advocated detection and prevention behaviors led to significant effects, whereas those advocating cessation behaviors did not have significant effects. These findings offer both theoretical and practical implications.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Advertising
    • "There are multiple ways to frame messages to present a positive outcome of engaging in a behavior versus a negative outcome of failing to engage in a behavior. Most studies use a " same consequences " frame in which the identical outcome is described as either a gain or a loss (e.g., your risk could decrease by 15 % if you reduce sun exposure versus you could lose the opportunity to decrease your risk by 15 % if you do not reduce sun exposure; Rothman & Salovey, 1997; see, for examples, Covey, 2014; Gallagher & Updegraff, 2012; O'Keefe & Jensen, 2007; O'Keefe & Jensen, 2009; Rothman & Salovey, 1997; Tversky & Kahneman, 1981; Updegraff & Rothman, 2013). As we will describe shortly, the situation faced by members of melanoma-prone families known to carry a p16 mutation lends itself to a " different consequences " framing manipulation (Rothman & Salovey, 1997) in which the outcome described differs in direction (gain versus loss) but is consistent in magnitude (e.g., your risk could decrease by 15 % if you reduce sun exposure versus your risk could increase by 15 % if you do not reduce sun exposure). "
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    ABSTRACT: A CDKN2A/p16 mutation confers 76 % lifetime risk of developing melanoma to US residents, and high-risk individuals are counseled to use sunscreen. Generally, for patients at population risk, gain framing more effectively promotes prevention behaviors; however, it is unknown whether loss frames might more effectively promote behavioral intentions and perceived control over disease risk among high-risk patients. Undergraduates (N = 146) underwent a simulated genetic counseling and test reporting session for hereditary melanoma. Participants watched a video of a genetic counselor providing information in which genetic risk of melanoma (Low: 15 %; High: 76 %) and framed recommendations to use sunscreen (Loss: Risk may increase by 15 % if don't use sunscreen; Gain: Risk may decrease by 15 % if use sunscreen) were manipulated. Controlling for baseline sunscreen use, high-risk participants given loss frames reported greater beliefs that sunscreen would reduce risk than high-risk participants given gain frames. Further, high-risk participants with fair skin tended to report greater intentions to use sunscreen when given loss frames versus gain frames. Perceived control over risk mediated the effect of message frame and disease risk on intentions to use sunscreen. When counseling patients with elevated cancer risk, genetic counselors may consider framing prevention behavioral recommendations in terms of potential losses.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Genetic Counseling
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    • "Anekdotische evidentie moet volgens Rieke en Sillars (1984, p. 92) worden opgevat als een specifiek geval of als een voorbeeld dat wordt aangevoerd ter ondersteuning van een standpunt, terwijl statistische evidentie bestaat uit een numerieke samenvatting van een groot aantal gevallen die worden opgevoerd om een standpunt te schragen. De uitkomsten van het vele empirisch onderzoek dat naar de relatieve overtuigingskracht van beide vormen van argumentatie verricht is, zijn verre van eenduidig (zie bijvoorbeeld Baesler & Burgoon, 1994; Allen & Preiss, 1997; O'Keefe, 2002). Datzelfde geldt evenzeer voor al het empirisch onderzoek naar gain-en loss framing: soms blijkt het in empirische zin (Salovey et al., 2002) effectiever om de wenselijke, positieve gevolgen van een aanbevolen gedragslijn uit te doeken te doen (gain framing), soms blijkt het juist doeltreffender (Levin et al., 1998) om de onwenselijke gevolgen van het niet-opvolgen van het gepropageerde gedrag te verwoorden (loss framing), en dan weer kunnen er al helemaal geen verschillen in overtuigingskracht tussen beide varianten worden aangetroffen (O'Keefe & Jensen, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Culture dependent appraisal of age thresholds for mammographic screening; the effectiveness of health communication in cross-cultural perspective In previous empirical studies it was found that Dutch women could hardly be convinced by experimental health communication leaflets in which they were dissuaded to participate in systematic mammographic screening programs when they are younger than 50. In contrast, the far majority of the Dutch experimental participants accepted with enthusiasm the standpoint that women above 50 should go for a breast cancer screening every other year. The empirical research presented in this article is a replication of the Dutch studies, but now conducted in Ticino (Switzerland). Ticino is a culture that is quite different from Holland regarding the nature of preventive screening on breast cancer: systematic screening in Holland versus opportunistic screening in Ticino. Moreover, in Ticino the mass media pay far less attention to issues concerning breast cancer compared with those in Holland. As predicted, the Swiss participants were more susceptible for the persuasive attempts and experimental manipulations in the health communication leaflets.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
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