Our paper, “Loss and Gain-Framing and Psychological Reactance: Impacts on Intentions to Exercise,” won Overall Top Paper award at the D.C. Health Communication (DCHC) conference this year. The conference theme was “Patient-Centered Health Communication.”
Exercise habits are difficult to change, but how recommendations are framed – as the benefitsof performing a behavior or the drawbacks of not doing so – can make a difference. For this study, we examined loss/gain framing and psychological reactance – two important concepts in message persuasion – in the context of exercise promotion.
We found that gain frames elicited less threat to freedom, which triggered a sequential chain of decreased reactance, increased attitudes, and increased intentions to exercise. In short, gain-framed exercise messages were more effective.
I wrote the paper along with Jakob Jensen, Courtney Scherr, Katheryn Christy, Melinda Krakow, and Kaylee Crossley (aka: “Team Reactance” in our lab). I presented it at the DCHC conference in April 2017, and that’s me and Courtney accepting the award from Anne Nicotera and Gary Kreps.
This paper is currently under review and is part of our lab’s psychological reactance research program. Here’s a quick interview of me describing more about it: