This study examined the joint effects of message framing (gain vs. loss) and visual image (image vs. no image) on persuasion as it related to the use of dental floss and the use of sunscreen (N = 252). For both topics, the results revealed a Frame × Image interaction effect on fear. The interaction was such that the presence (vs. absence) of an image produced more fear in the loss-framed conditions. The corresponding results for gain-framed messages were inconsistent. Covariance analyses showed that fear mediated the effect of the interaction on persuasion, whereas dominant cognitive response did not. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Communication Quarterly for the following free supplemental resources: sunscreen and flossing messages of gain-visual and loss-visual.].
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