Health Study: Hope might motivate better behaviors
While afraid of health concerns might grip people, adding a little hope to a message could make individuals more prepared to take preventative action, based on a study. The findings showed that hope and self-efficacy – the belief that an individual might help themselves greatly predicted intentions to take action against skin cancer, like wearing sunscreen or protective clothing. With health messages, it isn’t enough only to tell people, or simply educate them, you need to motivate them, and the emotions are really good motivations, said Jessica Myrick of Pennsylvania State University in the United States.
We frequently think of emotions as irrational, but what our research is pointing to is that emotions might helps us do the things which will keep us healthful and safe, so it is important to comprehend the wide scope of psychological answers to different types of messages and messaging elements, Myrick said. In accordance with the investigators, previous work indicated that although fear can attract attention and make consciousness about a health issue, it could not automatically lead to behaviors which can help people solve this problem. Fear and hope might work together to create more persuasive messages, Myrick said.
In the study, published in the journal Health Communication, 341 individuals reacted to an article on skin cancer. The article was split into 3 segments with the subheads: How susceptible are all of us to skin cancer? , How severe is the skin cancer? and What actions can we take to prevent skin cancer and how efficient are those measures? The subsections of the message reflect the factors that may drive persuasive health messaging results, including if an individual feels vulnerable To the condition, are they think the condition is serious – seriousness – and if they think that aid exists and that they’ve access to that help, in accordance with the researchers. Self-efficacy and hope did serve as important predictors of sun safety intentions, they said. Self-efficacy and hope did serve as important predictors of sun security objectives, they said.