The effects of message framing and message processing on cognitive and behavioral outcomes: An examination of breast self-examination messages
AuthorUmphrey, Laura Ruth
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examined the effects of message framing, message processing and issue involvement on breast self-examination attitudes and behaviors. A health frame message processing model was developed and tested in the context of a detection behavior based on prospect theory (Tversky & Kahneman, 1981) and the heuristic-systematic model (HSM) (Chaiken, 1980). Participants were exposed to either a gain frame message emphasizing the consequences of performing breast self-examinations or a loss frame message emphasizing the consequences of not performing breast self-examinations. Women who were classified as defensive processors displayed maladaptive responses in the form of minimization or denial of the health issue in a thought-listing task following exposure to the message stimuli. The results of the study indicated that (a) women with less self-efficacy engaged in maladaptive responses; (b) there were no framing-related differences in attitudes for high involvement women who processed the messages objectively; (c) high involvement women who engaged in defensive processing responded more negatively to the loss frame message than the gain frame message; (d) attitudes were significant predictors of behavioral intentions; (e) behavioral intentions were significant predictors of behaviors; and (f) low involvement women who received loss frame messages felt more susceptible to breast cancer than low involvement women who received gain frame messages. Limitations, suggestions for future research, and implications for health care professionals are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College