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The influence of cigarette warning labels on adolescent’s risk perception and the optimistic bias

Hohl, K. (2015) The influence of cigarette warning labels on adolescent’s risk perception and the optimistic bias.

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Abstract:The overall topic of the present study was the influence of cigarette warning labels on adolescent’s risk perception and the optimistic bias. For years warning labels and their effects make up a major part of psychological and health studies. As a matter of priority they try to find out which type of warning label have the greatest emotional impact on people’s decision to stop or avoid smoking. The present study joined this group of research by testing the impact of two different sorts of warning labels. The method of measurement took place in a pre and posttest of a questionnaire which measured risk perception and the optimistic bias. Between the pre and posttest people were randomly assigned to one of two conditions which differed in the severity of warning label. The first condition contained warning labels which indicated consequences of smoking in a more harmless way. However the second condition contained warning labels which showed the consequences of smoking in a more harmful way. One of the most interesting finding was that non-smoker’s risk perception was more influenced through the more severe warning labels than smoker’s risk perception. Another interesting and hypothesized finding was that the more harmful warning labels tend to have a greater impact on adolescent’s optimistic bias than the more harmless warning labels. Based on the experiences and findings of the present study there were some recommendations for future studies and policy. The impact of habituation is one great issue which has to be recognized, therefore it would be interesting to set up the study with repeated exposures to warning labels. Furthermore health institutions and policy have to recognize two important facts. First fact is that different smoking status are related to different perceptions of risks and and the second fact is that adolescents tend to have an unrealistic perception of smoking related risks.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68335
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