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Promoting the avoidance of high-calorie snacks: priming autonomy moderates message framing effects.

Pavey L, Churchill S - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The beneficial effects of gain-framed vs. loss-framed messages promoting health protective behaviors have been found to be inconsistent, and consideration of potential moderating variables is essential if framed health promotion messages are to be effective.In both studies, when autonomy was highlighted, the gain-framed message (compared to the loss-framed message) resulted in stronger intentions to avoid high-calorie snacks, and lower self-reported snack consumption after seven days.Study 2 demonstrated this effect occurred only for participants to whom the information was most relevant (BMI>25).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The beneficial effects of gain-framed vs. loss-framed messages promoting health protective behaviors have been found to be inconsistent, and consideration of potential moderating variables is essential if framed health promotion messages are to be effective. This research aimed to determine the influence of highlighting autonomy (choice and freedom) and heteronomy (coercion) on the avoidance of high-calorie snacks following reading gain-framed or loss-framed health messages. In Study 1 (N = 152) participants completed an autonomy, neutral, or heteronomy priming task, and read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message. In Study 2 (N = 242) participants read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message with embedded autonomy or heteronomy primes. In both studies, snacking intentions and behavior were recorded after seven days. In both studies, when autonomy was highlighted, the gain-framed message (compared to the loss-framed message) resulted in stronger intentions to avoid high-calorie snacks, and lower self-reported snack consumption after seven days. Study 2 demonstrated this effect occurred only for participants to whom the information was most relevant (BMI>25). The results suggest that messages promoting healthy dietary behavior may be more persuasive if the autonomy-supportive vs. coercive nature of the health information is matched to the message frame. Further research is needed to examine potential mediating processes.

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Study 2: Prime×Frame interaction for intentions to avoid high calorie snacks. Study 2: Estimated marginal means (+−SE) of Time 1 intentions to avoid high calorie snacks in the next 7 days for embedded autonomy-prime or embedded heteronomy-prime participants who read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message.
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pone-0103892-g002: Study 2: Prime×Frame interaction for intentions to avoid high calorie snacks. Study 2: Estimated marginal means (+−SE) of Time 1 intentions to avoid high calorie snacks in the next 7 days for embedded autonomy-prime or embedded heteronomy-prime participants who read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message.

Mentions: For Time 1 intentions, there was no main effect of Embedded Prime, F(1, 223) = 0.78, p = .380, ηρ2<.01, or Frame F(1, 223) = 0.55, p = .461, ηρ2<.01, and no significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction, F(1, 223) = 2.48, p = .117, ηρ2 = .01. However, there was a significant Embedded Prime×Frame×BMI interaction, F(1, 223) = 4.47, p = .036, ηρ2 = .02. For participants who were overweight, there was a significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction, F(1, 142) = 7.30, p = .008, ηρ2 = .05, whereas there was no significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction for participants who were normal weight, F(1, 85) = 0.91, p = .764, ηρ2<.01. Simple main effects analysis indicated that among participants who were overweight and who read the embedded autonomy-prime message, gain-framed message participants reported stronger intentions than loss-framed message participants, F(1, 223) = 4.35, p = .038, ηρ2 = .02. Among participants who were overweight and who read the embedded heteronomy-prime message, gain-framed message participants reported lower intentions than loss-framed message participants, F(1, 223) = 4.67, p = .032, ηρ2 = .02. In addition, among participants who were overweight and who read the gain-framed message, embedded autonomy-prime participants reported greater Time 1 intentions than embedded heteronomy-prime participants, F(1, 223) = 5.27, p = .023, ηρ2 = .02. Among participants who were overweight and who read the loss-framed message, embedded autonomy-prime participants reported marginally lower intentions than embedded heteronomy-prime participants, F(1, 223) = 3.77, p = .053, ηρ2 = .02. There were no other significant simple effects, all ps>.10. The interaction between Embedded Prime and Frame for participants who were overweight is shown in Figure 2.


Promoting the avoidance of high-calorie snacks: priming autonomy moderates message framing effects.

Pavey L, Churchill S - PLoS ONE (2014)

Study 2: Prime×Frame interaction for intentions to avoid high calorie snacks. Study 2: Estimated marginal means (+−SE) of Time 1 intentions to avoid high calorie snacks in the next 7 days for embedded autonomy-prime or embedded heteronomy-prime participants who read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4117640&req=5

pone-0103892-g002: Study 2: Prime×Frame interaction for intentions to avoid high calorie snacks. Study 2: Estimated marginal means (+−SE) of Time 1 intentions to avoid high calorie snacks in the next 7 days for embedded autonomy-prime or embedded heteronomy-prime participants who read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message.
Mentions: For Time 1 intentions, there was no main effect of Embedded Prime, F(1, 223) = 0.78, p = .380, ηρ2<.01, or Frame F(1, 223) = 0.55, p = .461, ηρ2<.01, and no significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction, F(1, 223) = 2.48, p = .117, ηρ2 = .01. However, there was a significant Embedded Prime×Frame×BMI interaction, F(1, 223) = 4.47, p = .036, ηρ2 = .02. For participants who were overweight, there was a significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction, F(1, 142) = 7.30, p = .008, ηρ2 = .05, whereas there was no significant Embedded Prime×Frame interaction for participants who were normal weight, F(1, 85) = 0.91, p = .764, ηρ2<.01. Simple main effects analysis indicated that among participants who were overweight and who read the embedded autonomy-prime message, gain-framed message participants reported stronger intentions than loss-framed message participants, F(1, 223) = 4.35, p = .038, ηρ2 = .02. Among participants who were overweight and who read the embedded heteronomy-prime message, gain-framed message participants reported lower intentions than loss-framed message participants, F(1, 223) = 4.67, p = .032, ηρ2 = .02. In addition, among participants who were overweight and who read the gain-framed message, embedded autonomy-prime participants reported greater Time 1 intentions than embedded heteronomy-prime participants, F(1, 223) = 5.27, p = .023, ηρ2 = .02. Among participants who were overweight and who read the loss-framed message, embedded autonomy-prime participants reported marginally lower intentions than embedded heteronomy-prime participants, F(1, 223) = 3.77, p = .053, ηρ2 = .02. There were no other significant simple effects, all ps>.10. The interaction between Embedded Prime and Frame for participants who were overweight is shown in Figure 2.

Bottom Line: The beneficial effects of gain-framed vs. loss-framed messages promoting health protective behaviors have been found to be inconsistent, and consideration of potential moderating variables is essential if framed health promotion messages are to be effective.In both studies, when autonomy was highlighted, the gain-framed message (compared to the loss-framed message) resulted in stronger intentions to avoid high-calorie snacks, and lower self-reported snack consumption after seven days.Study 2 demonstrated this effect occurred only for participants to whom the information was most relevant (BMI>25).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The beneficial effects of gain-framed vs. loss-framed messages promoting health protective behaviors have been found to be inconsistent, and consideration of potential moderating variables is essential if framed health promotion messages are to be effective. This research aimed to determine the influence of highlighting autonomy (choice and freedom) and heteronomy (coercion) on the avoidance of high-calorie snacks following reading gain-framed or loss-framed health messages. In Study 1 (N = 152) participants completed an autonomy, neutral, or heteronomy priming task, and read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message. In Study 2 (N = 242) participants read a gain-framed or loss-framed health message with embedded autonomy or heteronomy primes. In both studies, snacking intentions and behavior were recorded after seven days. In both studies, when autonomy was highlighted, the gain-framed message (compared to the loss-framed message) resulted in stronger intentions to avoid high-calorie snacks, and lower self-reported snack consumption after seven days. Study 2 demonstrated this effect occurred only for participants to whom the information was most relevant (BMI>25). The results suggest that messages promoting healthy dietary behavior may be more persuasive if the autonomy-supportive vs. coercive nature of the health information is matched to the message frame. Further research is needed to examine potential mediating processes.

Show MeSH