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Health Communication Research Measures

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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19. Risk Perception Attitude (RPA) Framework

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19. Risk Perception Attitude (RPA) Framework

Computing the Four Attitudinal Groups

ERIN L. MEAD,University of MarylandRAJIV N. RIMAL,George Washington University

In health communication, fear appeals constitute a popular persuasive approach for promoting behavior change. Several theories propose that fear can be used to motivate individuals to change behavior by increasing perceptions of the severity of and their susceptibility to diseases and risk factors (for a review see: Peters, Ruiter, & Kok, 2013; Witte & Allen, 2000). For example, in the health belief model (Janz & Becker, 1984) and protection motivation theory (Rogers, 1975) perceived risk is a significant predictor of an individual’s likelihood of taking preventive action. However, fear appeals can backfire. When faced with a threat that increases fear and risk perceptions, individuals either attempt to control the perceived danger through the recommended behavior change (called “danger control response”) or to reduce their fear through defensive avoidance or opposition (called “fear control response”).

As part of the extended parallel process model, Witte (1992) showed that the nature of the response to a fear appeal is based on self-efficacy and response efficacy beliefs. First introduced by Bandura (1977), self-efficacy is defined as individuals’ perceptions of their ability to successfully perform a behavior. Response efficacy is defined as individuals’ perceptions of the effectiveness of a behavior in reducing their risk. Fear appeal messages lead to danger control processes when coupled with messages designed to increase...

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