Defensive Reactions to Threatening Health Messages: Alternative Structures and Next Questions

James Price Dillard, Eric Meczkowski, Chun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Defensive reactions offer an explanation for why people reject persuasive messages. Surprisingly, little research has focused on the basic question of how they are structured with regard to one another. Understanding this would enable more informed theorizing. Using data from two studies (N = 849 and N = 311), we tested four possible structures via confirmatory factor analysis, frequency analysis, and latent profile analysis. Results indicated that defensive reactions are best conceptualized as several related concepts that are positively correlated but cannot be reduced to a single phenomenon. Having addressed the structure issue empirically, we conclude with a series of questions that may guide efforts to explicate the concept known as defensive reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-995
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume12
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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