Effects of message appeal and efficacy belief on perceptions of oral health messages
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study examined how different type of message appeal and efficacy belief influenced college-aged populations' perceived effectiveness of oral health messages. In specific, the experiment employed two message variables' message appeal (i.e., social-focused and health-focused) and efficacy belief (i.e., self-efficacy, collective-efficacy, and no efficacy) "and examined their influences on perceptions of oral health messages: (a) psychological reactance toward the message; (b) evaluation toward the message; (c) perceived self-efficacy on dental checkups; (d) attitude toward dental checkups; and (e) intention to visit a dentist. A total of 140 participants were exposed to four messages (two social-and two health-focused messages) which were manipulated with one of the efficacy beliefs information. This study found that health-focused oral health messages had significantly less psychological reactance, more positive message evaluation, higher perceived self-efficacy on dental checkups, and more positive attitude toward dental checkups than social-focused oral health messages. Another study finding showed that messages with collective-efficacy information had higher perceived self-efficacy on dental checkups, and more positive attitude toward dental checkups compared to messages with self-efficacy information. Theoretical and practical implications on the findings were discussed.
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