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Saúde e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-1290


MAYER, Verônica Feder  and  AVILA, Marcos Gonçalves. The influence of framing on health-related behaviors: an experimental test. Saude soc. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.3, pp.685-697. ISSN 0104-1290.

This study performed an experimental test involving the framing effect. According to the Prospect Theory, the framing effect is the possibility of influencing an individual's decision without distorting the information or suppressing it, but by means of subtle changes in the way the problem is presented. We tested the hypothesis that a brochure emphasizing the negative consequences of not protecting oneself against stress would be more persuasive than a brochure emphasizing the positive consequences of this attitude. Prior studies, which examined the framing effect in structuring persuasive messages, have produced varied results. This study explored the theoretical explanations for results obtained in health campaigns. Brazilian postgraduate students were exposed to a negatively structured brochure, a positively structured brochure or a brochure that merely informed about stress. Attitudes concerning recommendations to protect oneself from stress and the intentions of following them were measured. The results indicate that the negative framing is more persuasive.

Keywords : Prospect Theory; Framing Effect; Health Messages; Stress.

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