215019 Use of Perceptual Mapping to Tailor Messages Promoting Testicular Self-Examination

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michael J. Rovito, PhD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Audience segmentation identifies subgroups in a population in order to more effectively reach them with health education efforts. A primary goal for segmenting audiences is to increase variance explained values in behavior change prediction via tailored message design. In other words, researchers segment audiences to tailor specific messages for each defined group to more effectively influence the participant decision-making process. The introduction of perceptual mapping in behavioral intervention studies provides researchers a new methodology for designing promotional messages. Perceptual mapping essentially plots, or maps, an individual's (or groups of individuals) perception of a given topic in a three dimensional space and organizes the data according to value or worth to one's self. Researches can determine via the three dimensional perceptual space which variables the individual (or group) considers important in their decision-making processes and which ones they consider insignificant. Using vector analysis, researchers can tailor very specific messages for each defined group. This study demonstrates how perceptual mapping methods are used to formulate messages promoting testicular self examination among a sample of men. Each presented message is defined specifically for each of the four control-identity types. An individual's control-identity disposition is an aggregate measurement of three core concepts: perceived value of health promotion (testicular self examination), perceived vulnerability to testicular cancer, perceived health control beliefs (health outcome control). A primary comparison of messages is illustrated between different control identity types.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
I will demonstrate the methodology behind how perceptual mapping can be used to tailor messages pertaining to testicular self-examination promotion. I will compare and contrast the differences in messages between segmented groups of men (as defined by each man's control identity).

Keywords: Behavior Modification, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have designed and completed the study as described in the abstract. I am a trained scientist in behavioral health and have been published in the field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.