Regulatory Focus, Feature Positive Effect, and Message Framing

Guangzhi Zhao, University of California, Irvine
Cornelia Pechmann, University of California, Irvine

Regulatory focus, feature positive effect, and

Message framing

Guangzhi Zhao

University of Kansas


Connie Pechmann

University of California, Irvine


We distinguished message frames along two dimensions: outcome type (benefit vs. cost) and outcome valence (positive vs. negative) and studied the persuasiveness of four antismoking messages. Based on Feature Positive Effect, we predicted message frames emphasizing the presence (vs. absence) of behavior outcomes would be more persuasive. Consistent with Regulatory Focus Theory, we predicted that, for promotion-focused individuals, a benefit-positive message would be the most persuasive; while for prevention-focused individuals, a cost-negative would be the most persuasive. Findings from two experimental studies with a total of 1,162 high school students supported these predictions.
[ to cite ]:
Guangzhi Zhao and Cornelia Pechmann (2006) ,"Regulatory Focus, Feature Positive Effect, and Message Framing", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 100-100.