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Journal Article

Citation

Qin Y, Chen J, Namkoong K, Ledford V, Lim JR. Health Commun. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2020, Informa Healthcare)

DOI

10.1080/10410236.2020.1846323

PMID

33205669

Abstract

Risk perception is a critical determinant for individuals' health behavior change, especially for behaviors with distal future consequences. Building on construal-level theory, this study investigates if and how thinking concretely about the negative consequences of opioid misuse influences people's risk perception toward opioid misuse. Two message cues - images and concrete (vs. abstract) language - are proposed to influence concrete thinking and perceived temporal distance, which in turn influence risk perception directly and through negative affect. Using a factorial online experiment with Amazon Mechanical Turk workers (N = 220), this study found that messages using concrete language made people think more concretely about the negative consequences of opioid misuse. Perceived concreteness, in turn, increased risk perception and negative affect. Negative affect also increased risk perception. The use of images decreased perceived temporal distance, which in turn, changed risk perception through its influence on negative affect. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Language: en

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