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Message Sidedness

  • By: Sandi Smith & Jessica Russell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health communication is often persuasive in that it attempts to teach new attitudes and behavior, reinforce existing positive or functional attitudes and behavior, or change existing negative health attitudes and behaviors. Important aspects of persuasion are message structure, such as the number and order of arguments in a message or the use of explicit versus implicit conclusions, and message content, such as the use of evidence. One aspect of message content is the style of argumentation within the message. A common approach to varying message content as a means to enhance persuasiveness is through message sidedness.

Message sidedness refers to the content of the propositions within a persuasive appeal. Traditionally, there are three types of message sidedness: one-sided, two-sided nonrefutational, and two-sided refutational messages. One-sided ...

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