Health communication scholars have long been interested in the effects of emotional messages (i.e., appeals, tactics) on cognitive and behavioral outcomes. In fact, over 50 years of studies on the effects of scare tactics can be documented, but other types of emotional appeals can also be effective, including anger appeals. However, anger, as with other kinds of appeals, has to be used with the correct audience under the correct conditions. One theory that has articulated the relationship between anger appeals and cognitive and behavioral outcomes is the anger activism model.

Anger and Anger Appeals Defined

Richard S. Lazarus proposed that emotions are associated with core themes. Anger is connected with the perception of mistreatment or injustice and a demeaning offense against “me” and “mine.” In other words, ...

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