When the Flu Speaks: the Effect of Disease Anthropomorphism on Protection Motivation

The present research examines the effect of anthropomorphizing diseases on consumers’ compliance with health recommendations. We find that people are more motivated to protect themselves from a disease when they conceive of it in anthropomorphized (vs. object) terms, because they feel psychologically closer and hence more vulnerable to the disease.


Lili Wang, Rima Touré-Tillery, and Ann Lisa McGill (2019) ,"When the Flu Speaks: the Effect of Disease Anthropomorphism on Protection Motivation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 47, eds. Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren Block, and Leonard Lee, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 321-331.


Lili Wang, Zhejiang University, China
Rima Touré-Tillery, Northwestern University, USA
Ann Lisa McGill, University of Chicago, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 47 | 2019

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