A new joint study conducted by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the University of Miami School of Communication and Missouri State University has found that HPV vaccine campaigns which attempt to induce a combination of fear and guilt are more effective than those which seek to induce fear alone.
Dr Nick Carcioppo, lead author of the study (pictured right) claimed that ‘The overwhelming majority of intervention research, particularly in the context of health, attempts to elicit a fear response. This is understandable because fear is a negative-motivational emotion that people feel compelled to reduce’.
‘This research shows that incorporating a guilt-appeal message into a traditional fear-appeal framework can be an efficacious strategy to influence vaccination intentions’.
The fear-based message used in a study of 407 18 to 26 year olds read ‘50% of sexually active people will become infected with HPV at some point in their lives’, whilst the guilt-fear hybrid message read ‘It didn’t affect me until it destroyed us’.
To read more about how incorporating a guilt-appeal message into a traditional fear-appeal vaccination framework might reduce uptake, please click here.