The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3048.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #68099

Sensation seeking and impulsive vs. rational decision-making as moderators of perceived effectiveness of HIV/STD public service announcements

Rick S. Zimmerman, PhD1, Philip C. Palmgreen, PhD1, Seth Noar, PhD2, Mia Liza A. Lustria2, Mary Lee Matuza2, and Suzanne Lorraine Allard1. (1) Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, 245 Grehan Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0042, 859-257-4099,, (2) Institute for HIV Prevention, University of Kentucky, 313 Breckinridge Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0056

Most models guiding HIV/STD interventions have employed a rational model of decision-making assuming the preeminence of cognitive processing of prevention messages. Research has shown that two primarily affective traits—sensation seeking and impulsivity—are strong predictors of a variety of unsafe sex practices among young adults and adolescents, and that those most likely to engage in such behaviors are high on both traits. Research has documented the importance of message sensation value or MSV (the ability of the message to stimulate and arouse) in attracting and persuading high sensation seekers (HSS). It is less clear what types of messages are most effective with impulsive decision-makers (IDM) vs. rational decision-makers (RDM). Employing data from 1523 participants in an ongoing NIMH-funded field trial of the effectiveness of HIV/STD televised PSAs on young adults, this paper explores predictors of perceived message effectiveness (PME) among four groups: 1) HSS-IDM; 2) HSS-RDM; 3) LSS-IDM; 4) LSS-RDM. Preliminary analyses indicate that perceived MSV, the extent to which the PSA made viewers "think", and how "useful" they perceived the information in the PSA to be were generally significant predictors of PME across all four groups. Respondents' affective reaction to the PSA and how relevant they found the information in the PSA were only related to PME for HSS-IDM, i.e., the group engaging in the highest risk behaviors. Both the implications of these results for the design of media HIV prevention messages and additional structural equation model results will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Communications, Risky Behaviors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV Prevention Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA