Instruction in crisis situations: Targeting learning preferences and self-efficacy

Brandi N. Frisby, Deanna D. Sellnow, Derek R. Lane, Shari R. Veil, Timothy L. Sellnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study employs instructional communication and crisis communication theoretical frameworks to experimentally examine messages tailored to learning style preferences to determine their effect on receivers' perceived efficacy to take self-protective measures during a crisis event. In the first phase of the study, participants (N=254) viewed manipulated instructional media messages in the form of simulated news reports that reflected one of four learning styles. Results revealed no significant differences in perceived self-efficacy based on receiver learning style preference or message manipulation tailored to specific learning styles, but there was an interaction effect. In the second phase, participants (N=123) completed pre-test and post-test measures of self-efficacy and watched a message that either matched or mismatched their learning style preference. Overall, participant self-efficacy significantly increased at post-test. However, none of the tailored messages significantly increased post-test self-efficacy over the others. The results extend both instructional communication and crisis management research, and provide avenues for future research utilizing instructional theories and frameworks and message tailoring to influence crisis management, instructional message design and self-protection efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-271
Number of pages22
JournalRisk Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • crisis
  • efficacy
  • instruction
  • learning style
  • message design
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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