Presentation on theme: "Fear Appeals A popular form of health message is the fear appeal – to scare people into change Fear appeals can be effective – only if: properly designed."— Presentation transcript:
2 Fear AppealsA popular form of health message is the fear appeal – to scare people into changeFear appeals can be effective – only if:properly designeddo more than just frightenFear is multidimensionalPushing somebody to change their behaviour when they are not ready, invariably leads to resistance
3 Fear AppealsFear appeals create an impression of message effectivenessUnfortunately audience judgments of perceived effectiveness of an advertisement has been shown NOT to be a reliable predictor of behaviourTo be effective, media campaign should be integrated with supportive activitiesTAC Media Campaigns provides public education support to enforcement activities, legislative change and raises community awareness
5 Young PeoplePre-existing beliefs, attitudes and prior behaviour acts as a screen for messages from the media and societyPrior knowledge and experiences determine the extent to which threat communications are accepted/discounted and subsequent strategies they engage inYoung people are in a critical stage of development – when they shift their key point of reference from family to peer group
6 Young PeopleYoung people more likely to assess risks for opportunity for gains, compared to adults who tend to focus on opportunity for lossOpportunity for gain – include peer approval, self-image, self-esteemNeed to understandWhat belief do young people hold?Who are their relevant referents?What are the barriers to desired behaviour change?
7 Shock Tactics and FearShock tactics are designed to lead to fear response and subsequent behaviour changeShock tactics can evoke a range of affective responses including fear, anger, puzzlement, guilt, shameIt cannot be assumed that a threat appeal will evoke a fear responseFear is multidimensional and complexInhibitory Fear – where the audience makes an effort to reduce the anxiety caused by the stimulusAnticipatory Fear – related to the perceived likelihood of experience the threat, where the aim is the deal with the threat rather than avoid the anxiety
8 Shock Tactics Fear can evoke a range of cognitive responses: Third Person EffectOptimistic BiasMaladaptive Coping ResponsesFatalismAvoidanceReligious faith relianceInaccurate information beliefsDenial
9 Protection Motivation Theory – Rogers (1983) People motivated to take action to protect themselves from a health threat, according to:Severity - Perceived severity of threatVulnerability - Perceived probability of its occurrenceResponse Efficacy - Perceived efficacy of advocated responseSelf Efficacy - Perceived self-efficacy to perform the response
10 Shock tactics – what works Vulnerability – predictive of intention and behaviourResponse Efficacy – predictive of intentionTay & Watson 2002:Low/Moderate Fear & High Response EfficacyHigh Fear & High Response EfficacyHigh Fear & Low Response Efficacy
11 Communication Features of Shock Tactics Frames – Tversky and KahnemanEmotional InterestConcretenessProximityDelivery and wording appropriate to the target group
12 Shock Tactics and Young People The health message must penetrate several levels of passive and active defensesThreat based advertising while relevant and influential for some segments, may not be relevant and influential for the entire audienceFear more effective with adults and with children or young peopleFear arousing messages more effective for the converted
13 Why Shock Tactics fail Fail to increase perception of vulnerability Fail to promote high response efficacy – instead maladaptive actions occurAs fear appeals increase in strength, so do defensive responses
14 Shock Tactics – HIV / AIDS The Grim Reaper Campaign
15 Why not Grim Reaper II ?Given the 2 distinct (heterogeneous) target groups – focus on the toxic side effects of antiviral treatmentsTo increase sense of vulnerability:Risk of HIV transmissionHIV TransmissionDisease ProgressionIncreased viral load – antiviral therapy recommendedAntivirals associated with lipodystrophy/lipoatrophy prescribedLipodystrophy/lipoatrophy develops
16 Why not Grim Reaper II ? Confuses the debate about HIV transmission Significant possibility of detrimental effectsReduce QoL for people living with HIVHIV positive individuals deferring, rejecting or poorly adhering to antiviral therapyIncreased disease progression among HIV positiveIncreased communal viral poolIncreases in HIV transmission
17 Shock Tactics – Smoking Cessation QUIT Campaign 1998 Quit Victoria has conducted graphic smoking cessation campaigns for many yearsNegative health effects of smoking well known and undisputableToolsTaxes on cigarettesRegulations at point of saleAdvertising ban on cigarette promotionQuit programs, Quitline,pharmacological quitting aidsAnti-smoking mass media campaigns
20 Effective Shock Tactic Campaigns NOT stand alone media campaigns!Effective Shock Tactic Campaigns integrated into evidence-based behavioural programs in the community.Drive Drive – Random breath testing, increase penalties and enforcementGrim Reaper – Safe Sex Education, Free Needle Exchange programsQUIT – Quitline, Quit programs in workplaces, advertising bans at point of sale, smoking restrictionsStand-alone/One-off events or campaigns – do not work.
21 Things to Remember When Working with Young People Whilst fear appeals may have a motivational role, prevention programs are more like to be effective if they focus on:Building Decision Making SkillsGeneral Coping SkillsAssertive Skills / Resist Peer PressureSelf-Esteem/Self-efficacyEncourage Conversations/DiscussionsSimilar Communicator & Credible
22 Things to Remember When Working with Young People Provides New FactsDisablement Rather Than Death / Short Term and Social (Peer) EffectsPersonal RelevanceAvoid A Paternalistic ApproachAvoid A Didactic ApproachAvoid Single, One-off “Events”Low-Moderate Fear & High Response Efficacy
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