The research presented here challenges the primary proposition of current health communication research. Specifically, this research is designed to test empirically an alternative theoretical perspective regarding the motivational processing of media health messages and to examine its implications in predicting message evaluation outcomes. For this purpose, this dissertation focuses on the investigation of a bivariate model of motivational systems (Evaluative Space Model: ESM) in which approach and avoidance motivations are hypothesized to be separable and thus compossible. A pilot test (N=81, Mage=19.89 years; 64.2% female) and a main study (N=311, Mage=20.29 years; 67.5% female; 66.2% Caucasian) were conducted to test the main postulation of ESM (RQ1-RQ4) and to examine the utility of the bivariate framework in studying health message effects (RQ5-RQ6). The main study used five antidrug ad sets with 3 different measurement conditions, including two types of bivariate measures (BEAMS and ESG) and one typical bipolar measure (5× 3 between subjects design). Each participant viewed and rated 8 individual ads within a set after being assigned to one of the study conditions. Findings from the series of analyses reported here provide a compelling argument for health communication researchers and practitioners to consider the bivariate conceptualization and operationalization of motivational systems.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2014. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Marco Yzer. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 107 pages.
Challenging Bipolarity in Persuasive Health Communication: Tests of the Activation Patterns and Consequences of the Approach-Avoidance Motivations Explaining Media Health Message Effects.
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