Fear, threat and efficacy in threat appeals: message involvement as a key mediator to message acceptance

Year of publication: 2009
Author(s): Cauberghe V.; De Pelsmacker P.; Janssens W. & Dens N.
Appeared in: Accident Analysis and Prevention, vol.: 41, issue: 2, 276-285

Abstract

In a sample of 170 youngsters, the effect of two versions of a public service announcement (PSA) threat appeal against speeding, placed in four different contexts, on evoked fear, perceived threat (severity and probability of occurrence), perceived response efficacy and self-efficacy, message involvement and anti-speeding attitude and anti-speeding intention is investigated. Evoked fear and perceived threat and efficacy independently influence message involvement. Message involvement is a full mediator between evoked fear, perceived threat and efficacy perception on the one hand, and attitudes towards the message and behavioral intention to accept the message on the other. Speeding experience has a significantly negative impact on anti-speeding attitudes. Message and medium context threat levels and context thematic congruency have a significant effect on evoked fear and to a lesser extent on perceived threat.

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