This study explores whether self-affirmation has the capacity not merely to reduce the perceived threat associated with health-related information but also to facilitate interpersonal discussion and affect health information–seeking behavior. The context for the study is the ongoing California drought, which serves as suitable context to examine the intersection of self-affirmation and information-seeking behavior because it involves a threatening message (the destructive consequences of the drought) and highlights discrepancies between actual (water waste) and prosocial (water conservation) behavior. Results of a month-long longitudinal panel study demonstrate significant effects of self-affirmation on interpersonal discussion, information seeking, knowledge, and water-conserving behavior across time. Implications for theorizing longer term effects of self-affirmation and practical implications for promoting behavioral change through the enhancement of knowledge and self-esteem are considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences