The Effects of Metaphor Use and Message Format on Cognitive Processing and Persuasive Outcomes of Condom Promotion Messages

Stephanie K. Van Stee, Seth M. Noar, Nancy Grant Harrington, Lisanne F. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The potential of pictorial and verbal metaphors to gain attention and enhance persuasion is considerable. Few scholars, however, have investigated the persuasive effects of metaphor in health messages. We applied a 2 × 2 factorial experiment to examine the effects of metaphor use (metaphor/literal) and message format (verbal/pictorial) on cognitive processing and persuasive outcomes of condom promotion messages. Results showed no significant differences in cognitive processing according to metaphor or format, but there were differences in attitudes and behavioral intentions according to metaphor and format, with literal and verbal messages performing best. Potential explanations for findings and implications for future research and health message design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Studies
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Carozza Graduate Fund for Excellence in Health Communication from the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Central States Communication Association.

Keywords

  • Condom Promotion
  • HIV Prevention
  • Message Design
  • Message Format
  • Metaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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