The influence of fear appeal approaches and perceived risk on generation Y consumers’ protection motivation

Buhrer, Stephanie (2016-03)

Thesis (MComm)—Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Statement-based fear appeals have been used widely in social marketing in an attempt to change undesirable human behaviour. Despite the extensive use of this approach, fear appeal effectiveness has often been called into question given the defensive reactions that fear-based messages may arouse. To reduce the occurrence of these defensive mechanisms, a new fear appeal approach, which has recently demonstrated its success in increasing risk perceptions and reducing short-term smoking behaviour, has been suggested: the use of question-based warnings. Considering the recent success of this approach in the realm of cigarette smoking, this study extended the use of question-based warnings to a different context, namely drinking-and-driving. Moreover, literature pertaining to the different types of perceived risks, and which is most effective in altering males‟ and females‟ protection motivation, has resulted in contrasting results. Consequently, this study wanted to address this gap in the literature. Against this background, the primary objectives of this study were to investigate whether different fear appeal approaches (i.e. question- and statement-based warnings), different types of perceived risk (i.e. physical and social risks) and gender, as well as the combined interaction between these variables, would influence generation Y consumers‟ protection motivation differently. Secondary objectives included investigating the impact of these variables on each component of the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) Model; that is perceived vulnerability, severity, fear, response efficacy, self-efficacy and behavioural intent. A four-group, post-test only experiment was conducted, with a total sample of 1203 respondents. A convenience sampling procedure was used. The results indicated that different fear appeal approaches did not influence generation Y consumers‟ protection motivation differently, while the opposite was found for different types of perceived risk and gender. Based on these results, further research should be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of alternate fear appeal approaches. Additionally, while physical risks were found to be more effective than social risks in altering consumers‟ protection motivation, further research should be conducted to investigate which risk is more effective for the different genders. Finally, gender was shown to be an important factor in the perceived effectiveness of drinking-and-driving fear appeals. On the whole, three points should be taken away from this study. Firstly, given the relative ineffectiveness of both question- and statement-based warnings, either approach can be used in social marketing. However, where an anti-drinking-and-driving campaign wants to overcome the negative effects that overexposure and desensitisation can have on its effectiveness, question-based warnings should be used. Secondly, until such time as a more effective alternative has been found, anti-drinking-and-driving campaigns should continue to make use of physical risks. Finally, gender should always be an important consideration in both the design and implementation of a road-based social marketing campaign.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Stelling-gebaseerde vreesberoepe is reeds wyd in sosiale bemarking gebruik om ongewenste gedrag te verander. Ten spyte van die uitgebreide gebruik van hierdie benadering, word die effektiwiteit van vreesberoepe gereeld bevraagteken as gevolg van die verdedigende reaksies wat baie vrees-gebaseerde boodskappe wek. Om die voorkoms van hierdie verdedigende meganismes te verminder, word „n nuwe vreesberoep-benadering, wat ook reeds sukses met die verhoging van risikopersepsies en die vermindering van korttermyn-rookgedrag gedemonstreer het, voorgestel: die gebruik van vraag-gebaseerde waarskuwings. Gegewe die sukses van hierdie benadering in die area van sigaretrook, het hierdie studie probeer om die gebruik van vraag-gebaseerde waarskuwings uit te brei na „n ander konteks, naamlik drink-en-bestuur. Verder het die literatuur met betrekking tot die verskillende tipes waargenome risiko, en watter risiko die effektiefste is in die verandering van mans en vroue se beskermingsmotivering, gelei tot kontrasterende resultate. Gevolglik wou hierdie studie dié gaping in die literatuur aanspreek. Dus ondersoek die primêre doelwitte van hierdie studie of verskillende vreesberoep-benaderings (naamlik vraag- en stelling-gebaseerde waarskuwings), verskillende tipes waargenome risiko (naamlik fisiese en sosiale risiko's) en geslag, asook die gekombineerde interaksie tussen hierdie veranderlikes, verbruikers se beskermingsmotivering verskillend beïnvloed. Die sekondêre doelwitte het ingesluit om die impak van hierdie veranderlikes op elke komponent van die Beskermingsmotiveringsteorie-model (BMT) te ondersoek; dit wil sê waargenome kwesbaarheid, erns, vrees, reaksie-doeltreffendheid, selfdoeltreffendheid en gedragsvoorneme. „n Vier-groep, post-toets-alleenlike eksperiment is uitgevoer, met „n totale streekproef van 1203 respondente. Gerieflikheidsteekproefneming is benut. Die resultate het aangedui dat verskillende vreesberoep-benaderings nie generasie Y verbruikers se beskermingsmotivering verskillend beïnvloed nie, terwyl die teenoorgestelde gevind is vir verskillende tipes waargenome risiko en geslag. Gebaseer op hierdie resultate behoort toekomstige navorsing gedoen te word om die effektiwiteit van alternatiewe vreesberoep-benaderings te ondersoek. Aangesien fisiese risiko bevind is om meer effektief te wees as sosiale risiko in die verandering van verbruikers se beskermingsmotivering, moet verdere navorsing ook gedoen word om te ondersoek watter risiko meer effektief is vir die verskillende geslagte. Laastens het geslag na vore gekom as 'n belangrike faktor in die waargenome doeltreffendheid van drink-en-bestuur-vreesberoepe. In geheel kan drie punte van hierdie studie weggeneem word. Eerstens, gegewe die relatiewe oneffektiwiteit van beide vraag- en stelling-gebaseerde vreesberoepe, kan beide benaderings gebruik word in sosiale bemarking. Waar ʼn nie-drink-en-bestuur veldtog wel die negatiewe effekte van oormatige blootstelling en desensitisering wil voorkom, moet vraag-gebaseerde waarskuwings gebruik word. Tweedens, tot en met die tyd waar ʼn meer effektiewe alternatief gevind is, moet nie-drink-en-bestuur veldtogte van fisiese risiko‟s gebruik maak. Laastens moet geslag altyd in oorweging geneem word tydens die ontwerp en implementering van pad-gebaseerde sosiale bemarkingveldtog.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98589
This item appears in the following collections: