The relative persuasiveness of gain-framed and loss-framed messages for encouraging disease prevention behaviors: A meta-analytic review

Daniel J. O'Keefe*, Jakob D. Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations

Abstract

A meta-analytic review of 93 studies (N = 21,656) finds that in disease prevention messages, gain-framed appeals, which emphasize the advantages of compliance with the communicator's recommendation, are statistically significantly more persuasive than loss-framed appeals, which emphasize the disadvantages of noncompliance. This difference is quite small (corresponding to r = .03), however, and appears attributable to a relatively large (and statistically significant) effect for messages advocating dental hygiene behaviors. Despite very good statistical power, the analysis finds no statistically significant differences in persuasiveness between gain- and loss-framed messages concerning other preventive actions such as safer-sex behaviors, skin cancer prevention behaviors, or diet and nutrition behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-644
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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