The Role of Need For Control in Effective Health Communication

Punam Anand Keller, Dartmouth College
Three studies support the premise that health messages that increase need for control will result in more attentiveness, planning, and preventative health actions. The findings indicate that participants who desired to reduce alcohol consumption planned more, drank less, and felt more productive in class when they received instructions to simulate action steps combined with a negative rather than a positive outcome (experiment 1), negatively-framed than a positively-framed action simulation (experiment 2), and a negative outcome simulation on social impact versus poor grades (experiment 3). The results support the view that anxiety-producing negative frames increase need for control which in turn enhance preventative behaviors.
[ to cite ]:
Punam Anand Keller (2008) ,"The Role of Need For Control in Effective Health Communication", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 117-121.