This article examines how cognitive structures and processes that highlight some aspects of messages but inhibit the salience of others affect adolescents' processing of public service announcements (PSAs). The cognitive structures assessed were attitude accessibility and decision styles (need for cognition and faith in intuition). A 2 (gender: male vs. female) ×- 2 (race: Caucasian vs. African American) ×- 4 (message type) mixed design with message type as a within-subjects factor was utilized. Three hundred twenty-five teens (M age = 14.97) were randomly assigned to view one PSA of each type, presented in a random order. Multilevel modeling analyses showed that attitude accessibility and need for cognition interact with attitude to affect adolescents' biased processing while faith in intuition negatively predicts perceived message bias. Race and gender were also significant predictors of perceived message bias. Implications for message design and health communication are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language