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Persuasive effects of linguistic agency assignment and linguistic markers or argumentation in health messages about an emerging sexually transmitted disease

Abstract : Answering the call by some health communication researchers to give greater attention to message strategies at the level of word choices and sentence structures, this study examined how the linguistic marking of argumentative orientation and linguistic agency assignment affects young adults' reactions to an informational message about a sexually transmitted infection presented as a new emerging health threat. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of the four versions of a fact sheet defined by a 2 x 2 (agency assignment x marking of argumentation orientation) factorial design and thereafter completed a questionnaire. Results indicated that the assignment of agency to the virus (vs. human) increased the perceived severity of the health threat, perceived susceptibility to it, persuasiveness of the message, and safer sex intentions. The same outcomes occurred when the message was phrased with a high marking of the argumentative orientation rather than a low marking. These findings suggest that a better understanding of language variable effects can boost the efficacy of promotional health messages.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02526987
Contributor : Odile Camus <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 8:43:01 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:55:37 AM

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Vincent Coppola, Matthew Mcglone, Fabien Girandola, Odile Camus. Persuasive effects of linguistic agency assignment and linguistic markers or argumentation in health messages about an emerging sexually transmitted disease. Journal of Health Communication, Taylor & Francis, 2020, 25 (1), pp.33-42. ⟨10.1080/10810730.2019.1697398⟩. ⟨hal-02526987⟩

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