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Research Article

Fear Appeal in Traffic Safety Advertising: The moderating role of medium context, trait anxiety, and differences between drivers and non-drivers

Authors:

Wim Janssens ,

Department of Marketing, University of Antwerp, BE
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Patrick De Pelsmacker

Universiteit Antwerpen; Ghent University, BE
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Abstract

The impact was investigated of the intensity of a fear appeal, the valence of the medium context, and the individuals' trait anxiety and personal relevance on the responses of 197 individuals to anti-speeding advertisements. A high level of fear attracts more attention. A negative valence context leads to a more positive anti-speeding attitude. The most important moderating effect of trait anxiety is that the attitude is more positive when low-anxiety individuals are exposed to high fear appeals in a context with negative valence than in a positive context. These results were largely replicated for drivers, but not for non-drivers for whom there was only an attention-getting effect of high fear appeal. Theoretical and practical implications for anti-speeding campaigning are discussed.
How to Cite: Janssens, W. & De Pelsmacker, P., (2007). Fear Appeal in Traffic Safety Advertising: The moderating role of medium context, trait anxiety, and differences between drivers and non-drivers. Psychologica Belgica. 47(3), pp.173–193. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-47-3-173
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Published on 01 Oct 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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