Testing Message Framing & Culture
“Framing” health related messages either by focusing on the loss of not engaging in a specific behaviour or by focusing on the gain by engaging into a desired behaviour can have a massive outcome on how people perceive a given message – and more importantly how likely they are to actually act. This effect can be astonishingly large: For example, Mann, Sherman & Updegraff showed that by matching the frame of the message to the motivations of the recipient, the communications were up to 50% more effective in changing behavior – impressive to say the least!
In a new, exploratory research project which we are about to start at Middlesex University, we will go a little further and explore the link between culture and message framing – an area which has not been explored a lot as yet. Starting next week, we will start an initial survey comparing individualistic and collectivistic countries and a number of differently framed messages and appeals – thus linking current advertising research and cross-cultural research with health message framing research. Very exciting! Stay tuned for the findings 🙂 !