Message factors (3 of 4)
5. (a) What is a threat appeal? Describe the two parts of a threat appeal. (b) What is protection motivation theory (PMT)? What is protection motivation? Identify the two processes underlying protection motivation. (c) What is threat appraisal? Identify two factors that influence threat appraisal. What is perceived threat severity? What is perceived vulnerability to threat? (d) What is coping appraisal? Identify two factors that influence coping appraisal. What is perceived response efficacy? What is perceived self-efficacy? (e) Explain how the PMT framework provides a basis for thinking about adapting persuasive messages to audiences. Can messages be constructed so as to influence PMT variables (perceived threat severity, perceived threat vulnerability, and so forth)? Do such message variations affect persuasive outcomes in the ways expected by PMT? (f) What is the relationship between the intensity of threat-appeal contents and the degree of fear aroused in receivers? Are messages that arouse greater fear generally more persuasive (than those that arouse lesser amounts of fear)? Are messages with more intense contents generally more persuasive (than those with less intense contents)? Does the relationship between the intensity of message contents and the amount of aroused fear take the shape of an inverted U? Explain. Does the relationship between the intensity of message contents and persuasive outcomes take the shape of an inverted U? Explain. (g) Identify two conditions under which more intense threat appeals are unlikely to be more persuasive than less intense appeals. Explain how, under conditions of low coping appraisal, people with high threat appraisal might be led to re-appraise the threat. (h) Describe two alternative conceptions of the role played (in the persuasive effects of threat appeals) by the emotion of fear. What does the existing research evidence indicate about whether fear plays a causal role in the persuasive effects of threat-appeal messages?
6. (a) What does the research evidence suggest about the relative persuasive effectiveness of stating the message’s conclusion explicitly as opposed to omitting the conclusion (leaving the conclusion implicit)? (b) Does this difference vary depending on the audience’s educational level? Does it vary depending on the audience’s initial favorability toward the advocated view? (c) Describe a possible explanation for the observed effect.
7. (a) What does the research evidence suggest about the relative persuasive effectiveness of providing a general (as opposed to a more specific) description of the advocated action? (b) Describe two possible explanations for the observed effect.