Winner of the Distinguished Book Award by the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association, 2001 Effective Health Risk Messages provides step-by-step instructions for developing theoretically based campaigns that work. Students and readers will learn about message development theories, formative and summative evaluation, and even basic research designs for evaluating your campaign. Worksheets are provided at the end of each chapter to provide readers with hands-on, practical experiences in developing effective health risk messages. This book is suitable for practitioners, researchers, and students alike, and can act as a stand-alone text or supplementary text for persuasion, public health, advertising, and marketing classes.
Chapter 2: History of Health Risk Messages: Fear Appeal Theories from 1953 to 1991
The formal study of health risk messages began in the early 1950s when researchers at Yale University examined the influence of fear-arousing dental hygiene messages on high school students' tooth-brushing behavior (Janis & Feshbach, 1953). The messages used in this study described health risks ranging from mild physical threats such as toothaches, sore and inflamed gums, and cavities, to extremely severe physical threats such as cancer, blindness, and paralysis (all from not brushing your teeth properly). The Yale University researchers were interested in studying a wide variety of message appeals; fear appeals were just one of many message types they studied. In ...