Certainty Appraisal and Health Communications

Canan Corus, St. John's University, USA
At risk individuals tend to avoid information that might perturb their sense of security. Certainty appraisal is proposed as an emotional dimension beyond valence that affects health message processing and persuasion. Emotions high on certainty appraisal can provide confidence to cope with the insecurity instigated by relevant but threatening health messages. Three studies provide evidence that when a health threat is highly relevant, emotions high on certainty appraisal (e.g., anger, pride) increase message processing and increase persuasion. This effect is reversed if the message is not threatening; emotions associated with uncertainty (e.g., surprise, worry) lead to higher message processing for low risk individuals.
[ to cite ]:
Canan Corus (2009) ,"Certainty Appraisal and Health Communications", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 619-619.