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ERIC Number: ED411564
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Teaching Students How To Read Fear Appeals Critically.
Lively, Malcolm
Fear appeals are persuasive messages that emphasize harmful physical or social consequences of failing to comply with message recommendations. Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) emphasizes cognitive or rational reactions to fear appeals and identifies four message components which initiate corresponding cognitive mediating processes of appraising message information: (1) identifying depictions of the probability of the occurrence of a specific threat; (2) identifying the magnitude of noxiousness of the threat; (3) descriptions of the effectiveness of the appeal's recommended responses for avoiding the threat; and (4) the appeal's characterizations of the reader's ability to carry out the recommended efficacy measures. Models that explain how fear appeals function can be used to teach students how to analyze written fear appeals. Such instruction helps students determine the appropriateness of their interpretations of and responses to what they read. Additionally, students who can identify and analyze these texts are less likely to be persuaded or scared into taking actions that are not in their best interests. Practicing such evaluation of fear appeals also supports a way of knowing that enriches students' reasoning ability through the critical reading of texts. (Contains 3 figures and 26 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A