ERIC Number: ED362909
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Dramatized Depictions of Accidents on Grade School Children's Reception of Safety Guidelines.
Omdahl, Becky L.; Cantor, Joanne
A study examined a format for fear appeal messages that introduced a threat through one medium (i.e., a segment of dramatic television programming) and the recommended action through another medium (i.e., the verbal presentation of safety guidelines by an adult to a child). Subjects, 138 elementary school children from a middle-class elementary school in Madison, Wisconsin, were exposed to a videotape of a dramatized sequence depicting either fatal accidents or neutral events involving either fire or water. Their affective responses were assessed during exposure and immediately after viewing the videotape. They rated the likelihood that such an event would occur, the perceived severity of such events, and the degree to which they worried about such events. Next, they were taught safety guidelines appropriate to the subject matter of the event they had just watched. Finally, they gave ratings of how safe or dangerous it would be not to follow both fire and water safety guidelines and how important they thought it was to comply with them. Results indicated that children who watched dramatized accidents considered the relevant safety guidelines more important than children who watched neutral events on the same topic or neutral or threatening events involving unrelated activities. Perceived dangerousness of not complying was significantly affected by both the topic of the drama seen and whether or not subjects had seen a dramatized accident, but the interaction was not significant. In regression analyses, emotional arousal and the three cognitive responses predicted perceived importance of the guidelines differently for the different topics. There were no significant interactions between the cognitive responses. (Seven tables of data are included. Contains 26 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fear Appeal Messages; Message Design; Message Responses; Wisconsin (Madison)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (43rd, Washington, DC, May 27-31, 1993).