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Een brandende vraag… een onderzoek naar beïnvloeding door Fear Appeals en Anger Appeals

Huis in 't Veld, Marie-José (2012) Een brandende vraag… een onderzoek naar beïnvloeding door Fear Appeals en Anger Appeals.

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Abstract:Students do not sufficiently protect themselves against the dangers of fire. Every year, many accidents occur due to fires in student houses. It has proven to be hard to motivate students into protecting themselves against the dangers of fire. A well-known approach for motivating people to protect themselves against dangers is the Fear Appeal method. Many people hold moral objections against manipulating and influencing others through the creation of fear. These moral objections could be taken away by using Anger Appeal. This method of influencing is still quite unknown and has hardly ever been used to influence people. This study will focus on the possibilities of the Anger Appeal as an influencer to move students into protecting themselves against the dangers of fire. Following the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) (Witte, 1992) and the Anger Activism Model (AMM) (Turner, 2006), it has been attempted to move students into protecting themselves against the dangers of fire. Students were confronted with a Fear Appeal or an Anger Appeal concerning fire threat. Both approaches were applied in trying to motivate the student to undertake actions, followed by a high Efficacy message. The Control Condition was only confronted with a high Efficacy message. Immediately after the Fear Appeal and the Anger appeal, both emotions Fear and Anger were measured. Using the Risk Behavior Diagnostic Scale (Witte, 1992), students‟ Threat Appraisal and Efficacy Appraisal were measured. Threat was constructed using Susceptibility and Severity. Efficacy was constructed using Response Efficacy and Self Efficacy. These four constructs form the base of the EPPM and the AAM. In this study, Fear-Control Balance played a major role. This is the „theoretical‟ point where the Fear Control transforms into the Danger Control. The main conclusion from this study is that both the Fear Appeal, the Anger Appeal and only the Efficacy message lead to Behavior Intention. However, these three conditions do not differ concerning the level of Behavior Intention. The hypotheses based on the theoretical approaches of Witte (EPPM) and Turner (AAM) did predict a difference. Moreover, not all four construct are necessary for influencing the student. Mainly Self Efficacy and Severity are predictors of Behavior Intention, whereas the emotions of Fear and Anger influence Severity. In addition does the emotion of Fear lead to Behavioral Intention, but there is no relation between Anger and Behavior Intention. Furthermore it was striking that, on average, all students get a positive score on the Fear Control Balance, meaning that they are in Danger Control. This finding is the result of a low sensation of Susceptibility; the student thinks he himself is not in danger. On the other hand, the student did make a high estimation of his possibilities to deal with the danger. Finally, this study shows that student direct the attribution of anger to themselves after a Fear Appeal and that student direct their anger towards others after an Anger Appeal. This means that after an Anger Appeal, anger can direct itself to the source of the message and that this anger will not direct itself towards the intention of self-protective behavior. The Fear-Control Balance can be of use to see which process the student is in and how to influence the student to reach Danger Control and thus into protecting himself against the dangers of fire. In sum, the best way to influence the student is by letting experience the severity of the threat and letting him experience that he himself can do something about this threat. Moreover, the student must experience that he himself is susceptible to the threat posed by fire. A high Efficacy message is of importance in this. Caution is required when using Anger Appeal in order for the anger to not direct itself towards the source of the message.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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