Laughing and Crying: Mixed Emotions, Compassion, and the Effectiveness of a YouTube PSA About Skin Cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Emotionally evocative public service announcements are one way that public health advocates hope to persuade people to take action against skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States. This article describes an experiment (N = 193) to test the ways mixed emotional appeals influence communication and health outcomes. The data indicate that mixed emotional appeals foster feelings of compassion, which in turn motivate individual and social behaviors. The findings also provide insight into how audience reactions of fear impact postmessage behaviors. Implications for future research and health message design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-829
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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