Online behavioral advertising (OBA) has drawn great attention of regulatory agencies. In the Federal Trade Commission’s most recent OBA guidelines, advertising companies are required to provide educational information to consumers, and inform consumers of their option to opt out. However, there has been no systematic investigation of the effects of OBA educational messages on consumer responses to OBA. This study examined the effects of positive-negative valence framing in OBA educational messages on consumers’ attitude toward OBA, and intention to opt out of OBA. In addition, the study looked into the moderating role of the fit between the regulatory focus of consumers and the regulatory focus of the educational message in valence framing effects. A 2 (valence framing: positive vs. negative) × 2 (regulatory focus framing: promotion vs. prevention) × 2 (individuals’ regulatory focus: promotion vs. prevention) between-subject online experiment was conducted. The results demonstrated that a positively-framed OBA educational message led to more positive cognitive attitude toward OBA, and less intention to opt out, compared to a negatively-framed message. Furthermore, regulatory fit had a marginal moderating effect on the relationship between valence framing and consumers’ intention to opt out. Theoretical and practical implications as well as directions for future research are presented.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. August 2016. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Jisu Huh. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 100 pages.
Framing Effects of Online Behavioral Advertising Educational Messages and the Moderating Role of Regulatory Fit.
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