My blogger told me it was okay: processing and persuasion of youth risk behavior via parasocial interaction and health beliefs
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This study explored how parasocial interaction (PSI) and health beliefs influence motivational processing of blog content among young women using a 2 (Stance: Anti, Pro) X 4 (Risk Behavior: E-Cigarette, Drinking, Product, Control) X 2 (Order) X 60 (Seconds) mixed factorial design experiment (N = 63). Using the theoretical frameworks of the terror management health model (TMHM) and the health belief model (HBM), the study predicted the effects of parasocial interaction, such that a higher level of parasocial interaction (PSI) the viewer experienced before exposure to the stimuli would lead to increased emotional response, attention and physiological arousal. Among other findings, participants with higher PSI for a beauty blogger had greater reported positive emotional response toward blog posts than those with lower PSI. Additionally, those with higher PSI reported the greatest self-reported positive emotion toward product, news, and video posts (control condition in this study), suggesting that a higher level of PSI led individuals to be more engaged with self-goals (vs. health-goals) within the TMHM. HBM variables (i.e., susceptibility, severity, barriers, and benefits) were also found to predict participants' PSI response, emotional response, physiological arousal, and attention.
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