A brief measure of reactance to health warnings

Marissa G. Hall, Paschal Sheeran, Seth M. Noar, Kurt M. Ribisl, Marcella H. Boynton, Noel T. Brewer

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Reactance to persuasive messages involves perceived threat to freedom, anger, and counterarguing that may undermine the impact of health warnings. To understand reactance’s effects, reliable and valid assessment is critical. We sought to develop and validate a brief Reactance to Health Warnings Scale (RHWS). Two independent samples of US adults completed the brief RHWS in studies that presented warnings on cigarette packs that smokers carried with them for 4 weeks (Study 1; n = 2149) or as digital images of cigarette packs that participants viewed briefly (Study 2; n = 1413). The three-item Brief RHWS had good internal consistency and test–retest reliability. The scale correlated with higher trait reactance and exposure to pictorial warnings, supporting its convergent validity. With respect to predictive validity, the Brief RHWS predicted perceived message effectiveness, quit intentions, avoidance of the warnings, and number of cigarettes smoked per day. The Brief RHWS can serve as an efficient adjunct to the development of persuasive messages.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 24 2017

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Health
Tobacco Products
Anger
Reproducibility of Results

Keywords

  • Defensive processing
  • Health communication
  • Health warnings
  • Pictorial warnings
  • Reactance
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

A brief measure of reactance to health warnings. / Hall, Marissa G.; Sheeran, Paschal; Noar, Seth M.; Ribisl, Kurt M.; Boynton, Marcella H.; Brewer, Noel T.

In: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 24.01.2017, p. 1-10.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Hall MG, Sheeran P, Noar SM, Ribisl KM, Boynton MH, Brewer NT. A brief measure of reactance to health warnings. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2017 Jan 24;1-10. Available from, DOI: 10.1007/s10865-016-9821-z
Hall, Marissa G. ; Sheeran, Paschal ; Noar, Seth M. ; Ribisl, Kurt M. ; Boynton, Marcella H. ; Brewer, Noel T./ A brief measure of reactance to health warnings. In: Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2017 ; pp. 1-10
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