Guided by the MAIN model, this study examined the separate and combined impacts of identity and helper heuristics on perceptions of source credibility, perceptions of threat severity, susceptibility of a threat, and intentions to change behaviors. A quasi-experimental study examined the impact of a profile picture and follow-up comments on these outcomes as associated with a news story about the risks associated with a data breach at a high school. The results suggest that identity heuristics may influence credibility perceptions, but the combination of identity and helper heuristics may be required to modify behavioral intentions. The results are discussed in the context of theoretical and practical implications.
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