Imagine Yourself in This Patient’S Shoes: the “Identifiable Patient” and Health Threat

Adriana Samper, Duke University, USA
Mary Frances Luce, Duke University, USA
Devavrat Purohit, Duke University, USA
We examine the effectiveness of presenting a single, identifiable patient to increase emotional appeal and raise awareness in health communications. Study 1 reveals that “identifiable patients”—herpes sufferers—elicit a greater perception of personal risk compared to depiction of groups of patients, but only when the individuals depicted are self-relevant. Study 2 examines how the effect of identifiability of a self-relevant patient is moderated by the level of ambient stress induced in the message recipient prior to message exposure. Our studies demonstrate the conditions under which identifiability helps, and hurts, persuasive health communications.
[ to cite ]:
Adriana Samper, Mary Frances Luce, and Devavrat Purohit (2010) ,"Imagine Yourself in This Patient’S Shoes: the “Identifiable Patient” and Health Threat", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 207-210 .