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In COVID-19 health messaging, loss framing increases anxiety with little-to-no concomitant benefits: experimental evidence from 84 countries

Dorison, Charles A., Lerner, Jennifer S., Heller, Blake H., Rothman, Alexander J., Kawachi, Ichiro I., Wang, Ke, Rees, Vaughan W., Gill, Brian P., Gibbs, Nancy, Ebersole, Charles R., Vally, Zahir, Tajchman, Zuzanna, Zsido, Andras N., Zrimsek, Mija, Chen, Zhang, Ziano, Ignazio, Gialitaki, Zoi, Ceary, Chris D., Lin, Yijun, Kunisato, Yoshihiko, Yamada, Yuki, Xiao, Qinyu, Jiang, Xiaoming, Du, Xinkai, Yao, Elvin, Wilson, John Paul, Cyrus-lai, Wilson, Jimenez-leal, William, Law, Wilbert, Collins, W. Matthew, Richard, Karley L., Vranka, Marek, Ankushev, Vladislav, Schei, Vidar, Križanić, Valerija, Kadreva, Veselina Hristova, Adoric, Vera Cubela, Tran, Ulrich S., Yeung, Siu Kit, Hassan, Widad, Houston, Ralph, Lima, Tiago J. S., Ostermann, Thomas, Frizzo, Thomas, Sverdrup, Therese E., House, Thea, Gill, Tripat, Fedotov, Maksim, Paltrow, Tamar, Jernsäther, Teodor, Koptjevskaja-tamm, Maria, Hostler, Thomas J., Ishii, Tatsunori, Szaszi, Barnabas, Adamus, Sylwia, Suter, Lilian, Habib, Sumaiya, Studzinska, Anna, Stojanovska, Dragana, Janssen, Steve M. J., Stieger, Stefan, Schulenberg, Stefan E., Tatachari, Srinivasan, Azouaghe, Soufian, Sorokowski, Piotr, Sorokowska, Agnieszka, Song, Xin, Lewis, Savannah C., Sinkolova, Sladjana, Grigoryev, Dmitry, Drexler, Shira Meir, Daches, Shimrit, Geniole, Shawn N., Vračar, Selena, Massoni, Sébastien, Zorjan, Saša, Sarıoğuz, Eylül, Izquierdo, Sara Morales, Alves, Sara G., Pöntinen, Sara, Solas, Sara Álvarez, Ordoñez-riaño, Santiago, Očovaj, Sanja Batić, Onie, Sandersan, Lins, Samuel, Çoksan, Sami, Sacakli, Asli, Ruiz-fernández, Susana, Geiger, Sandra J., Fatahmodares, Saeideh, Walczak, Radoslaw B., Betlehem, Ruben, Vilar, Roosevelt, Cárcamo, Rodrigo, Ross, Robert M., Mccarthy, Randy, Ballantyne, Tonia, Westgate, Erin C., Afhami, Reza, Ren, Dongning, Monteiro, Renan P., Reips, Ulf-dietrich, Reggev, Niv, Calin-jageman, Robert J., Pourafshari, Razieh, Oliveira, Raquel, Nedelcheva-datsova, Mina, Rahal, Rima-maria, Ribeiro, Rafael R., Radtke, Theda, Searston, Rachel, Habte, Redeate, Zdybek, Przemysław, Chen, Sau-chin, Maturan, Princess Lovella G., Perillo, Jennifer T., Isager, Peder Mortvedt, Kačmár, Pavol, Macapagal, Paulo Manuel, Szwed, Paulina, Hanel, Paul H. P., Forbes, Paul A. 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H., Hristova, Evgeniya, Beshears, Julie E., Đorđević, Jasna Milošević, Bosch, Jasmijn, Valentova, Jaroslava Varella, Antfolk, Jan, Berkessel, Jana B., Schrötter, Jana, Urban, Jan, Röer, Jan Philipp, Norton, James O, Silva, Jaime R., Pickering, Jade S., Vintr, Jáchym, Uttley, Jim, Kunst, Jonas R., Ndukaihe, Izuchukwu L. G., Iyer, Aishwarya, Vilares, Iris, Ivanov, Aleksandr, Ropovik, Ivan, Sula, Isabela, Sarieva, Irena, Metin-orta, Irem, Prusova, Irina, Pinto, Isabel, Bozdoc, Andreea Ioana, Almeida, Inês A. T., Pit, Ilse L., Dalgar, Ilker, Zakharov, Ilya, Arinze, Azuka Ikechukwu, Ihaya, Keiko, Stephen, Ian D., Gjoneska, Biljana, Brohmer, Hilmar, Flowe, Heather, Godbersen, Hendrik, Kocalar, Halil Emre, Hedgebeth, Mattie V., Chuan-peng, Hu, Sharifian, Mohammadhasan, Manley, Harry, Akkas, Handan, Hajdu, Nandor, Azab, Habiba, Kaminski, Gwenael, Nilsonne, Gustav, Anjum, Gulnaz, Travaglino, Giovanni A., Feldman, Gilad, Pfuhl, Gerit, Czarnek, Gabriela, Marcu, Gabriela Mariana, Hofer, Gabriela, Banik, Gabriel, Adetula, Gabriel Agboola, Bijlstra, Gijsbert, Verbruggen, Frederick, Kung, Franki Y. H., Foroni, Francesco, Singer, Gage, Muchembled, Fany, Azevedo, Flavio, Mosannenzadeh, Farnaz, Marinov, Evelina, Štrukelj, Eva, Etebari, Zahra, Baskin, Ernest, Garcia, Elkin Oswaldo Luis, Musser, Erica, Van Steenkiste, I.m.m., Ahn, El Rim, Pronizius, Ekaterina, Jackson, Emily A, Manunta, Efisio, Agadullina, Elena, Šakan, Dušana, Dursun, Pinar, Dujols, Olivier, Dubrov, Dmitrii, Willis, Megan, Tümer, Murat, Beaudry, Jennifer L., Popović, Dora, Dunleavy, Daniel, Djamai, Ikhlas, Krupić, Dino, Vega, Diego, Du, Hongfei, Mola, Débora, Davis, William E., Holford, Dawn Liu, Lewis, David M. G. ORCID: 0000-0003-0732-9020, Vaidis, David C., Ozery, Daphna Hausman, Ricaurte, Danilo Zambrano, Storage, Daniel, Sousa, Daniela, Alvarez, Daniela Serrato, Rosa, Anna Dalla, Krupić, Dajana, Marko, Dafne, Moreau, David, Reeck, Crystal, Correia, Rita C., Whitt, Cassie M., Lamm, Claus, Solorzano, Claudio Singh, Von Bastian, Claudia C., Sutherland, Clare Am, Overkott, Clara, Aberson, Christopher L., Wang, Chunhui, Karashiali, Christiana, Noone, Chris, Chiu, Faith, Picciocchi, Chiara, Karaarslan, Cemre, Cellini, Nicola, Esteban-serna, Celia, Reyna, Cecilia, Batres, Carlota, Li, Ranran, Grano, Caterina, Carpentier, Joelle, Tamnes, Christian K., Fu, Cynthia H.y., Ishkhanyan, Byurakn, Bylinina, Lisa, Jaeger, Bastian, Bundt, Carsten, Allred, Tara Bulut, Bokkour, Ahmed, Bogatyreva, Natalia, Chopik, William J., Antazo, Benedict, Behzadnia, Behzad, Becker, Maja, Cocco, Beatrice, Chou, Wei-lun, Hubena, Barbora, Žuro, Barbara, Aczel, Balazs, Baklanova, Ekaterina, Bai, Hui, Balci, Busra Bahar, Babinčák, Peter, Dixson, Barnaby James Wyld, Mokady, Aviv, Kappes, Heather Barry ORCID: 0000-0002-6335-3888, Atari, Mohammad, Szala, Anna, Szabelska, Anna, Aruta, John Jamir Benzon, Domurat, Artur, Arinze, Nwadiogo Chisom, Modena, Arianna, Adiguzel, Arca, Monajem, Arash, Arabi, Kanza Ait El, Özdoğru, Asil Ali, Olaya Torres, Adriana Julieth, Theodoropoulou, Andriana, Jurković, Anita Penić, Kassianos, Angelos P., Findor, Andrej, Hartanto, Andree, Thibault Landry, Anais, Ferreira, Ana, Santos, Anabela Caetano, De La Rosa-gomez, Anabel, Gourdon-kanhukamwe, Amélie, Todsen, Anna Louise, Karababa, Alper, Janak, Allison, Bran, Alexandre, Tullett, Alexa M., Kuzminska, Anna O., Krafnick, Anthony J, Urooj, Anum, Khaoudi, Ahmed, Ahmed, Afroja, Groyecka-bernard, Agata, Askelund, Adrian Dahl, Adetula, Adeyemi, Belaus, Anabel, Charyate, Abdelilah Ca, Wichman, Aaron L., Stoyanova, Alina, Greenburgh, Anna, Thomas, Andrew G., Arvanitis, Alexios, Forscher, Patrick S., Mallik, Peter R, Primbs, Maximilian A., Miller, Jeremy K., Moshontz, Hannah, Urry, Heather L., Ijzerman, Hans, Basnight-brown, Dana M., Chartier, Christopher R., Buchanan, Erin M. and Coles, Nicholas A. (2022) In COVID-19 health messaging, loss framing increases anxiety with little-to-no concomitant benefits: experimental evidence from 84 countries. Affective Science, 3 (3). 577 - 602. ISSN 2662-205X

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s42761-022-00128-3

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic (and its aftermath) highlights a critical need to communicate health information effectively to the global public. Given that subtle differences in information framing can have meaningful effects on behavior, behavioral science research highlights a pressing question: Is it more effective to frame COVID-19 health messages in terms of potential losses (e.g., “If you do not practice these steps, you can endanger yourself and others”) or potential gains (e.g., “If you practice these steps, you can protect yourself and others”)? Collecting data in 48 languages from 15,929 participants in 84 countries, we experimentally tested the effects of message framing on COVID-19-related judgments, intentions, and feelings. Loss- (vs. gain-) framed messages increased self-reported anxiety among participants cross-nationally with little-to-no impact on policy attitudes, behavioral intentions, or information seeking relevant to pandemic risks. These results were consistent across 84 countries, three variations of the message framing wording, and 560 data processing and analytic choices. Thus, results provide an empirical answer to a global communication question and highlight the emotional toll of loss-framed messages. Critically, this work demonstrates the importance of considering unintended affective consequences when evaluating nudge-style interventions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/42761
Additional Information: © 2022 The Society for Affective Science
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
International Development
Management
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 09:57
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115339

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