University of Twente Student Theses


Forewarned is forearmed. The effects of textual consequences and instructions in alcohol warning labels.

Noordink, Steffi (2013) Forewarned is forearmed. The effects of textual consequences and instructions in alcohol warning labels.

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Abstract:Almost everybody has ever seen them: the striking and confrontational warnings on cigarette packages. The warnings are intended to alert the consumer of the product risk to both the potential health risks of smoking and that smoking in the vicinity of other individuals can endangers their health too. Besides cigarettes, alcohol also belongs to the category of risk products. To date, there is no clarity about how a suitable alcohol warning label should look like. In contrast to alcohol warning labels, warning labels in other fields are widely investigated. Design features related to color usage or the presence of an icon or symbol within the warning label context are extensively examined. Therefore, we know that the presence of an icon, a signal word, the identification of the risk and a suitable background color within a warning label is effective. But to what extent determine textual elements within the warning label its effectiveness on knowledge, attitudes, risk perception and in the end behavioral intention? Therefore, two studies within two different contexts (‘health’-context and ‘drunk driving’-context) have been conducted to determine to what extent consequences and/or instructions should be mentioned or omitted within an alcohol warning label. In total, 254 participants took part in 2 studies. Results of Study 1 show a main effect of consequences on behavioral intention, which means that the presence of consequences within the warning label led to a greater behavioral intention to prevent drunk driving. Besides, both studies did reveal effects of instructions or consequences on the variables, but they have not convincingly demonstrated whether consequences or instructions should be present within the alcohol warning label to lead to the desirable effects. Further investigation should determine what the most suitable design is for an alcohol warning label. Subsequently, it is interesting to know what the effect is of this warning label on for example purchase intentions, but especially on the behavior of groups at risk like young individuals.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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