Study: The effectiveness of empathy- versus fear-arousing antismoking PSAs.

this paper investigates the effectiveness of fear- versus empathy-arousing antismoking PSAs and examines the roles of message-induced fear and state empathy in persuasion. …

 

Results from multilevel modeling analyses showed that empathy-arousing messages are potentially more effective than fear-arousing ones. Both fear and state empathy were found to have a positive direct effect on persuasion. However, fear also had a negative indirect impact on persuasion by activating psychological reactance, while state empathy also had a positive indirect effect by inhibiting psychological reactance. Implications for persuasion, health communication campaigns, and future research were discussed.