University of Twente Student Theses


Organ donation, are you in? The persuasiveness of message framing and evidence types in messages

Coenders, I.A.L. (2014) Organ donation, are you in? The persuasiveness of message framing and evidence types in messages.

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Abstract:In today’s society there is still a considerable lack of organ donors. Too many people are waitlisted compared to the number of donors available. Although, an increase in public information and awareness about organ donation could enhance the registry participation, little research is conducted about effective communication towards potential donors. This study investigated the effectiveness of messages in order to persuade people to register as organ donor. A 2(message framing: positive versus negative) x 2(evidence type: statistical versus narrative) x 2(registration status: registered versus not registered) between subjects design was used. To investigate the effectiveness of messages, four differently manipulated versions of a message regarding organ donation were evaluated by 248 respondents. An online questionnaire randomly showed one of these four messages. After reading the message the attitude towards donor registration, the attitude towards the message, the willingness to donate and the emotions anxiety, moral obligation and guilt were measured. The hypotheses were that negative message framing was more effective than positive message framing, and narrative evidence was more effective than statistical evidence in concerning the dependent variables. Only one significant result was found for message framing. As expected, a negative frame was more effective to enhance the attitude towards organ donation than a positive frame. Furthermore, evidence types had no effect on all dependent variables. Hence, no conclusions can be drawn as to whether statistical or narrative evidence is more persuasive to enhance the registry participation. Significant results for registration status showed that participants who were already registered as organ donor had a more positive attitude towards organ donation, felt les anxious of the consequences of organ donation, felt a higher level of moral obligation and felt less guilty than participants who were not registered. Moreover, a three way interaction effect was found for message framing x evidence types x registration status; positive framing combined with narrative evidence seemed to be most effective to enhance the attitude towards the message. However, this interaction effect was difficult to interpret and the conclusion cannot be determined with certainty. These findings offer insights into the influences of message framing and evidence types in persuasive messages, which could help Dutch organizations committed to organ donation to create effective communication expressions and campaigns to enhance the registry participation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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