Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fear-Based Appeals in Social Marketing

Is fear effective in motivating positive health behavior?

If it is, then what's the most effective use of fear-based appeals?

1.  We have to believe there is a real, credible threat
2.  We have to believe that we (or our family) are affected by it
3.  We have to believe that the solution presented is real and credible - it has to make sense to us

Question:  Is this a real threat?  Am I susceptible?

     No  -- then we attempt to control the fear through denial/avoidance (don't think about it)

     Yes -- Is the recommended response effective?

                No -- then we attempt to control the fear through denial/avoidance

                Yes -- then we attempt to control the danger through taking action 

Fear appeals may be used effectively, however, positive appeals can be more effective - "if you take action, these are the great benefits..."

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