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Young People’s Response to Intended ‘Shocking’ Road Safety Messages (Traffic Safety Education Workshop 2007)

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Presentation on theme: "Young People’s Response to Intended ‘Shocking’ Road Safety Messages (Traffic Safety Education Workshop 2007)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Young People’s Response to Intended ‘Shocking’ Road Safety Messages (Traffic Safety Education Workshop 2007)

2  A popular form of health message is the fear appeal – to scare people into change  Fear appeals can be effective – only if:  properly designed  do more than just frighten  Fear is multidimensional  Pushing somebody to change their behaviour when they are not ready, invariably leads to resistance Fear Appeals

3  Fear appeals create an impression of message effectiveness  Unfortunately audience judgments of perceived effectiveness of an advertisement has been shown NOT to be a reliable predictor of behaviour  To be effective, media campaign should be integrated with supportive activities  TAC Media Campaigns provides public education support to enforcement activities, legislative change and raises community awareness Fear Appeals

4 The Deficit Model

5  Pre-existing beliefs, attitudes and prior behaviour acts as a screen for messages from the media and society  Prior knowledge and experiences determine the extent to which threat communications are accepted/discounted and subsequent strategies they engage in  Young people are in a critical stage of development – when they shift their key point of reference from family to peer group Young People

6  Young people more likely to assess risks for opportunity for gains, compared to adults who tend to focus on opportunity for loss  Opportunity for gain – include peer approval, self- image, self-esteem  Need to understand  What belief do young people hold?  Who are their relevant referents?  What are the barriers to desired behaviour change? Young People

7  Shock tactics are designed to lead to fear response and subsequent behaviour change  Shock tactics can evoke a range of affective responses including fear, anger, puzzlement, guilt, shame  It cannot be assumed that a threat appeal will evoke a fear response  Fear is multidimensional and complex  Inhibitory Fear – where the audience makes an effort to reduce the anxiety caused by the stimulus  Anticipatory Fear – related to the perceived likelihood of experience the threat, where the aim is the deal with the threat rather than avoid the anxiety Shock Tactics and Fear

8  Fear can evoke a range of cognitive responses:  Third Person Effect  Optimistic Bias  Maladaptive Coping Responses  Fatalism  Avoidance  Religious faith reliance  Inaccurate information beliefs  Denial Shock Tactics

9  People motivated to take action to protect themselves from a health threat, according to:  Severity - Perceived severity of threat  Vulnerability - Perceived probability of its occurrence  Response Efficacy - Perceived efficacy of advocated response  Self Efficacy - Perceived self-efficacy to perform the response Protection Motivation Theory – Rogers (1983)

10 Vulnerability – predictive of intention and behaviour Response Efficacy – predictive of intention Tay & Watson 2002: 1.Low/Moderate Fear & High Response Efficacy 2.High Fear & High Response Efficacy 3.High Fear & Low Response Efficacy Shock tactics – what works

11  Frames – Tversky and Kahneman  Emotional Interest  Concreteness  Proximity  Delivery and wording appropriate to the target group Communication Features of Shock Tactics

12  The health message must penetrate several levels of passive and active defenses  Threat based advertising while relevant and influential for some segments, may not be relevant and influential for the entire audience  Fear more effective with adults and with children or young people  Fear arousing messages more effective for the converted Shock Tactics and Young People

13  Fail to increase perception of vulnerability  Fail to promote high response efficacy – instead maladaptive actions occur  As fear appeals increase in strength, so do defensive responses Why Shock Tactics fail

14 Shock Tactics – HIV / AIDS The Grim Reaper Campaign

15  Given the 2 distinct (heterogeneous) target groups – focus on the toxic side effects of antiviral treatments  To increase sense of vulnerability: 1.Risk of HIV transmission 2.HIV Transmission 3.Disease Progression 4.Increased viral load – antiviral therapy recommended 5.Antivirals associated with lipodystrophy/lipoatrophy prescribed 6.Lipodystrophy/lipoatrophy develops Why not Grim Reaper II ?

16  Confuses the debate about HIV transmission  Significant possibility of detrimental effects  Reduce QoL for people living with HIV  HIV positive individuals deferring, rejecting or poorly adhering to antiviral therapy  Increased disease progression among HIV positive  Increased communal viral pool  Increases in HIV transmission Why not Grim Reaper II ?

17  Quit Victoria has conducted graphic smoking cessation campaigns for many years  Negative health effects of smoking well known and undisputable  Tools  Taxes on cigarettes  Regulations at point of sale  Advertising ban on cigarette promotion  Quit programs, Quitline,  pharmacological quitting aids  Anti-smoking mass media campaigns Shock Tactics – Smoking Cessation QUIT Campaign 1998

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20  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 enforcement  Grim Reaper – Safe Sex Education, Free Needle Exchange programs  QUIT – Quitline, Quit programs in workplaces, advertising bans at point of sale, smoking restrictions  Stand-alone/One-off events or campaigns – do not work. Effective Shock Tactic Campaigns

21 Whilst fear appeals may have a motivational role, prevention programs are more like to be effective if they focus on:  Building Decision Making Skills  General Coping Skills  Assertive Skills / Resist Peer Pressure  Self-Esteem/Self-efficacy  Encourage Conversations/Discussions  Similar Communicator & Credible Things to Remember When Working with Young People

22  Provides New Facts  Disablement Rather Than Death / Short Term and Social (Peer) Effects  Personal Relevance  Avoid A Paternalistic Approach  Avoid A Didactic Approach  Avoid Single, One-off “Events”  Low-Moderate Fear & High Response Efficacy Things to Remember When Working with Young People


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