Influence of Self-Relevant Base-Rate Information on Risk Perception of Getting Depression

Ying-Ching Lin, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
One of the greatest challenges in advertising health-related information is overcoming the target audiences’ self-positivity bias (the tendency for people to believe that they are less vulnerable to disease than others). The present research demonstrates that offering self-relevant base-rate information can reduce this bias and engage people in more precautionary thinking. Three studies examined the effect of base-rate information on the risk perception of getting depression. Study 1 showed that offering base-rate information did not influence an individual’s risk perception because base-rate information serves as social level information. However, offering personal level information can influence the risk perception of getting depression and decrease the level of self-positivity bias. Study 2 examined the individual’s perception of relevant base-rate information and demonstrates that depressed individuals adjust their self-risk estimation upwards when they think the base-rate information is related to them, but revise it downward when they think the base-rate information is not related to them. In addition, self-positivity bias decreased when non-depressed individuals believed that the base-rate information was related to them. Study 3 directly manipulated the level of base-rate relevance and replicated the findings of study 2. In addition, study 3 shows that the effect of message cues(base-rate relevance) on self-positivity bias are mediated through perceptions of base-rate relevance perceptions. Implications for health-care marketing are provided.
[ to cite ]:
Ying-Ching Lin (2010) ,"Influence of Self-Relevant Base-Rate Information on Risk Perception of Getting Depression", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 853-854 .