Attentional effects of self-affirmation in response to graphic antismoking images

Loes T E Kessels, Peter R Harris, Robert A C Ruiter, William M P Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Self-affirmation has been shown to reduce defensive responding to threatening information. However, little is known about the cognitive and attentional processes underlying these effects. In the current eye-movement study, the authors explored whether self-affirmation affects attention allocation (i.e., number of fixations) among those for whom a threatening health message is self-relevant.

METHODS: After a self-affirmation manipulation, 47 smokers and 52 nonsmokers viewed a series of cigarette packs displaying high or low threat smoking-related images accompanied by a brief smoking message containing risk, coping or neutral textual information.

RESULTS: Self-affirmed smokers made more fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed smokers (across both high and low threat images), whereas self-affirmed nonsmokers made fewer fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed nonsmokers (again across both image types). The textual information did not moderate responses.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate attention-increasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is self-relevant (smokers) and attention-decreasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is not self-relevant (nonsmokers). Such findings are consistent with the calibration model of self-affirmation (Griffin & Harris, 2011) in which self-affirmation increases sensitivity to the self-relevance of health-risk information. The use of an implicit measure of visual orienting informs our understanding of the working mechanisms of self-affirmation when encoding health information, and may also hold practical implications for the design and delivery of graphic warning labels. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-897
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • self-affirmation
  • anti-smoking images
  • attention
  • eye-movements
  • CIGARETTE WARNING LABELS
  • THREATENING HEALTH INFORMATION
  • EYE-MOVEMENTS
  • NEUROSCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
  • RISK INFORMATION
  • FEAR APPEALS
  • MESSAGES
  • PSYCHOLOGY
  • SMOKERS
  • MODEL

Cite this

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title = "Attentional effects of self-affirmation in response to graphic antismoking images",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE: Self-affirmation has been shown to reduce defensive responding to threatening information. However, little is known about the cognitive and attentional processes underlying these effects. In the current eye-movement study, the authors explored whether self-affirmation affects attention allocation (i.e., number of fixations) among those for whom a threatening health message is self-relevant.METHODS: After a self-affirmation manipulation, 47 smokers and 52 nonsmokers viewed a series of cigarette packs displaying high or low threat smoking-related images accompanied by a brief smoking message containing risk, coping or neutral textual information.RESULTS: Self-affirmed smokers made more fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed smokers (across both high and low threat images), whereas self-affirmed nonsmokers made fewer fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed nonsmokers (again across both image types). The textual information did not moderate responses.CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate attention-increasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is self-relevant (smokers) and attention-decreasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is not self-relevant (nonsmokers). Such findings are consistent with the calibration model of self-affirmation (Griffin & Harris, 2011) in which self-affirmation increases sensitivity to the self-relevance of health-risk information. The use of an implicit measure of visual orienting informs our understanding of the working mechanisms of self-affirmation when encoding health information, and may also hold practical implications for the design and delivery of graphic warning labels. (PsycINFO Database Record",
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author = "Kessels, {Loes T E} and Harris, {Peter R} and Ruiter, {Robert A C} and Klein, {William M P}",
note = "(c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1037/hea0000366",
language = "English",
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pages = "891--897",
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Attentional effects of self-affirmation in response to graphic antismoking images. / Kessels, Loes T E; Harris, Peter R; Ruiter, Robert A C; Klein, William M P.

In: Health Psychology, Vol. 35, No. 8, 08.2016, p. 891-897.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attentional effects of self-affirmation in response to graphic antismoking images

AU - Kessels, Loes T E

AU - Harris, Peter R

AU - Ruiter, Robert A C

AU - Klein, William M P

N1 - (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

PY - 2016/8

Y1 - 2016/8

N2 - OBJECTIVE: Self-affirmation has been shown to reduce defensive responding to threatening information. However, little is known about the cognitive and attentional processes underlying these effects. In the current eye-movement study, the authors explored whether self-affirmation affects attention allocation (i.e., number of fixations) among those for whom a threatening health message is self-relevant.METHODS: After a self-affirmation manipulation, 47 smokers and 52 nonsmokers viewed a series of cigarette packs displaying high or low threat smoking-related images accompanied by a brief smoking message containing risk, coping or neutral textual information.RESULTS: Self-affirmed smokers made more fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed smokers (across both high and low threat images), whereas self-affirmed nonsmokers made fewer fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed nonsmokers (again across both image types). The textual information did not moderate responses.CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate attention-increasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is self-relevant (smokers) and attention-decreasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is not self-relevant (nonsmokers). Such findings are consistent with the calibration model of self-affirmation (Griffin & Harris, 2011) in which self-affirmation increases sensitivity to the self-relevance of health-risk information. The use of an implicit measure of visual orienting informs our understanding of the working mechanisms of self-affirmation when encoding health information, and may also hold practical implications for the design and delivery of graphic warning labels. (PsycINFO Database Record

AB - OBJECTIVE: Self-affirmation has been shown to reduce defensive responding to threatening information. However, little is known about the cognitive and attentional processes underlying these effects. In the current eye-movement study, the authors explored whether self-affirmation affects attention allocation (i.e., number of fixations) among those for whom a threatening health message is self-relevant.METHODS: After a self-affirmation manipulation, 47 smokers and 52 nonsmokers viewed a series of cigarette packs displaying high or low threat smoking-related images accompanied by a brief smoking message containing risk, coping or neutral textual information.RESULTS: Self-affirmed smokers made more fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed smokers (across both high and low threat images), whereas self-affirmed nonsmokers made fewer fixations to the cigarette packs than did nonaffirmed nonsmokers (again across both image types). The textual information did not moderate responses.CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate attention-increasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is self-relevant (smokers) and attention-decreasing effects of self-affirmation among those for whom the information is not self-relevant (nonsmokers). Such findings are consistent with the calibration model of self-affirmation (Griffin & Harris, 2011) in which self-affirmation increases sensitivity to the self-relevance of health-risk information. The use of an implicit measure of visual orienting informs our understanding of the working mechanisms of self-affirmation when encoding health information, and may also hold practical implications for the design and delivery of graphic warning labels. (PsycINFO Database Record

KW - self-affirmation

KW - anti-smoking images

KW - attention

KW - eye-movements

KW - CIGARETTE WARNING LABELS

KW - THREATENING HEALTH INFORMATION

KW - EYE-MOVEMENTS

KW - NEUROSCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

KW - RISK INFORMATION

KW - FEAR APPEALS

KW - MESSAGES

KW - PSYCHOLOGY

KW - SMOKERS

KW - MODEL

U2 - 10.1037/hea0000366

DO - 10.1037/hea0000366

M3 - Article

C2 - 27505212

VL - 35

SP - 891

EP - 897

JO - Health Psychology

JF - Health Psychology

SN - 0278-6133

IS - 8

ER -