The Persuasive Effects of Message Framing in Organ Donation: The Mediating Role of Psychological Reactance

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The effects of message framing on reactions to campaign messages promoting organ donation were examined in three experiments. It was predicted that gain-framed messages would produce more positive reactions toward organ and tissue donation. In Study 1, students (N=189) responded to either a gain-framed or loss-framed message about organ donation. Study 2 (N=318) and Study 3 (N=433) examined the role of psychological reactance as a mediator between framing and reactions. Results indicated an effect for framing across the three studies - specifically, students reading a gain-framed message reported more favorable reactions toward the scripted message and lower psychological reactance. Psychological reactance and perceived manipulative intent were found to mediate the relationship between framing and message reactions.

Keywords: Framing; Organ; Prospect Theory; Psychological Reactance; Reactions

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2007

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