I Spy With My Little Eye: Cognitive Processing of Framed Physical Activity Messages Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The primary purpose was to examine the relative cognitive processing of gain-framed versus loss-framed physical activity messages following exposure to health risk information. Guided by the Extended Parallel Process Model, the secondary purpose was to examine the relation between dwell time, message recall, and message-relevant thoughts, as well as perceived risk, personal relevance, and fear arousal. Baseline measures of perceived risk for inactivity-related disease and health problems were administered to 77 undergraduate students. Participants read population-specific health risk information while wearing a head-mounted eye tracker, which measured dwell time on message content. Perceived risk was then reassessed. Next, participants read PA messages while the eye tracker measured dwell time on message content. Immediately following message exposure, recall, thought-listing, fear arousal, and personal relevance were measured. Dwell time on gain-framed messages was significantly greater than loss-framed messages. However, message recall and thought-listing did not differ by message frame. Dwell time was not significantly related to recall or thought-listing. Consistent with the Extended Parallel Process Model, fear arousal was significantly related to recall, thought-listing, and personal relevance. In conclusion, gain-framed messages may evoke greater dwell time than loss-famed messages. However, dwell time alone may be insufficient for evoking further cognitive processing.

publication date

  • June 2014