Exploring the communication effects of message framing of smoking cessation advertising on smokers’ mental processes
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The communication effectiveness of a negatively framed message (fear appeal) has been an important focus in smoking cessation research. Inspired by marketing ethics, this research aims to provide an advanced understanding of smoking cessation advertising by comparing the communication effects of positively and negatively framed messages on the mental processes of smokers. Questionnaires with two framed messages (positive and negative) were randomly distributed to adult smokers. Using linear structural equation modeling, the results from 230 valid responses (105 were positive and 125 were negative) revealed that message framing could provoke different drive sources and mental processes, and effective communication is greatly dependent on agency thinking. Finally, this study found that a positively framed message was more persuasive in prompting smoking cessation than a negatively framed message.
KeywordsMessage framing Communication effects Smoking cessation Non-profit marketing Social marketing
The author would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan for financial support (NSC 101-2410-H-214-009-SSS), Chiu-Ping Chen and Shu-Wan Yang for their assistance in data collection and statistical analysis of the project, Dr. Tsung-Kuang E. Ma for English writing consultant and anonymous reviewers for their improved suggstions.
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