Harboring Hope and Accepting Anxiety: the Role of Uncertain Emotions in Judgments of Health Risk

Nidhi Agrawal, Northwestern University
Geeta Menon, New York University
Three experiments investigate examine the interactive effects of two appraisal dimensions of specific emotions, valence and uncertainty, on the processing of health messages varying on the extent of vulnerability communicated. We demonstrate that a health message that communicates greater vulnerability increases uncertain emotions regardless of valence (e.g., hope and anxiety), but does not affect certain emotions (e.g., happiness and sadness). These findings together with theories of emotion-regulation are used to examine the processing of health messages when consumers are primed with emotions varying on uncertainty and valence (e.g., happiness, sadness, hope, and anxiety).
[ to cite ]:
Nidhi Agrawal and Geeta Menon (2008) ,"Harboring Hope and Accepting Anxiety: the Role of Uncertain Emotions in Judgments of Health Risk", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 39-43.