The overwhelming majority of fear appeal research came from the between-individuals approach and yielded consistent evidence for a linear fear–persuasion relationship. A recent review suggested that the within-individuals approach might be more appropriate. Studies that measured fear at multiple time points have consistently revealed a curvilinear association between fear and persuasion predicted by the drive model. A Web-based experiment (N = 454) using tobacco warning labels was conducted to replicate the inverted-U shape curvilinear relationship between fear and persuasion, and to revisit the role of fear in fear appeal theories. Results showed that the inverted-U fear curve positively predicted persuasion and reduced maladaptive responses, and that the linear trajectory of fear positively predicted maladaptive responses and failure of persuasion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)