Citation
Effects of Anti-Alcohol Message Types on Rebellious-Risk Takers

Material Information

Title:
Effects of Anti-Alcohol Message Types on Rebellious-Risk Takers
Creator:
Go, Eun
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (70 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.A.M.C.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Mass Communication
Journalism and Communications
Committee Chair:
Lee, Moon
Committee Members:
Kiousis, Spiro K.
Ferguson, Mary Ann
Graduation Date:
8/7/2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Advertising campaigns ( jstor )
Alcoholic beverages ( jstor )
Alcohols ( jstor )
Binge drinking ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Discounting ( jstor )
Habitual behavior ( jstor )
Humor ( jstor )
T tests ( jstor )
Target audiences ( jstor )
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
binge, fear, humorous, rebellious, risk
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.

Notes

Abstract:
The present study examines how college students process humorous and fear-arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. Especially, to explore how high rebellious risk takers process humorous and fear-arousing messages, this research examines how much they like, counter-argue against, or discount the messages, how persuasive they find the message, and their behavioral intention to change their drinking habits. A total of 302 people participated in this study. Participants randomly viewed either humorous ads or fear-arousing ads to discourage binge drinking. Among 302 participants, responses of 187 participants who were included in either high- or low-rebellious groups were used to analyze results. Results showed that high-rebellious people thought it more humorous than low-rebellious people, when they watched the humorous ads. On the other hand, when they watched the fear-arousing ads, low-rebellious people perceived it as more frightening than high-rebellious people. In addition, high-rebellious people reported higher levels of liking toward the humorous ads than low-rebellious people. However, a strong negative correlation between rebelliousness and liking of fear-arousing messages was found. Regarding counter-arguing, there is no statistical difference in the level of counter-arguing between high-rebellious and low-rebellious people in humorous ads, even though low-rebellious people showed a higher level of counter-arguing. However, when participants viewed the fear-arousing ads, high-rebellious people reported much a higher level of counter-arguing than low-rebellious people. Furthermore, a higher level of discounting humorous ads was shown in high- rebellious people. In other words, high-rebellious people discount humorous messages as being ??just a joke?? rather than taking them seriously. In line with counter-arguing, high-rebellious people who counter-argued less perceived the humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious people but, there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, low-rebellious people who counter-argued the fear-arousing messages less showed higher scores of perception of persuasiveness in fear-arousing messages. Furthermore, high-rebellious people indicated higher intention to change their drinking behavior when they watched humorous ads, but low-rebellious people showed higher intention to change it when they watched fear-arousing ads. This research has several theoretical implications in designing messages in that it attempts to explore the mechanism of processing different types of appeals based on individuals? characteristics, in particular rebellious tendency. In terms of the reasons why different types of appeals, humor and fear, influence rebellious risk takers differently, there is no study to explain the mechanisms of persuasion on rebellious risk takers. As results of this study indicated, the traditional fear appeals by seriously portraying the consequences of binge drinking might not be as effective for targeting highly rebellious risk takers. First, lower level of message liking in high rebellious people indicated that fear-arousing message do not attract them enough to process the messages. Furthermore, the results of higher level of counter-arguing against fear-arousing messages explain why fear-arousing message may be not effective. These results suggested that a message might be better designed where the intended outcome is not obvious that make its rebellious target audience less counter-argues against that. Also, it seems that humorous ads can weaken rebellious individuals' defensive reactions and their counter-arguing toward the messages to discourage binge drinking. In other words, humor might entertain them and create positive mood, in turn diminishing the probability of triggering one's defensive reactions by counter-arguing. This study may contribute future message design targeting high risk college students. Tailoring messages to individual recipients is now common and easy due to development of communication technology. Therefore, more sophisticated segmentation strategies of target audiences becoming more important. This study suggested importance of rebellious tendency in tailoring messages, especially to discourage undesirable behaviors. In conclusion, humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads appear to be effective in increasing liking of messages and reducing high rebellious people?s counter-arguing and defensive reactions to the messages and increasing the susceptibility of recommended actions in messages. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local:
Adviser: Lee, Moon.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-08-31
Statement of Responsibility:
by Eun Go.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Embargo Date:
8/31/2011
Resource Identifier:
004979881 ( ALEPH )
706497193 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2010 ( lcc )

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Wechsler, H., Seibring, M., Liu, I., & Ahl, M. (2004). Colleges respond to student binge
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Walters, S. T. (2000). In praise of feedback: An effective intervention for college
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students: A controlled trial of two brief interventions. Journal of Drug Education, 30,
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Wechsler, H., Lee, J. E., Kuo, M., Seibring, M., Nelson, T. F., & Lee, H. L. (2002).
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Alcohol, 64, 484-494.

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A comparison. Journal of Advertising, 18(2), 39-44.

Zuckerman, M. (1994). Behavioral expression and biosocial bases of sensation seeking.
New York: Cambridge University Press.









F(1,187) = 24.53, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of

rebellious tendency on behavioral intention depended primarily on message types.

More specifically, as shown in table 3, high-rebellious people scored higher

intention to change their drinking habits (M = 4.38, SD = 1.96) than low-rebellious

people (M = 2.97, SD = 1.62), t(111) = 4.138, p < .001 when they watched humorous

ads. Regarding Hypothesis 4-2, the results indicated that high-rebellious people scored

lower intention to change their drinking habits (M = 3.43, SD = 1.42) than low-rebellious

people when they watched fear-arousing ads (M = 4.37, SD = 0.99), t(76) = 3.369, p

= .001. Therefore, H4-1 and 4-2 were confirmed.


6

5.5

5

4.5

4

Mean 3.5
3

2.5

2

1.5

1


SHmnor
- Fear


Low


High


Rebelliousness


Figure 4-5. Behavioral intention by condition and rebelliousness

Table 4-12. Means and standard deviations of behavioral intention
Rebellious Tendency
Dependent variable Low High


re
~I









to modify their drinking behaviors. One possible explanation to account for why fear

appeals bring ineffective results in terms of persuading young people is that, as

previously mentioned, individuals who have high rebellious tendencies tend to rebel

against perceived social norms. Thus, rebellious individuals may respond to messages

that discourage binge drinking differently (Ferguson, et al., 1992; Lee & Bichard, 2006;

Lee & Ferguson, 2002). In other words, traditional fear appeals' messages that portrays

the negative consequence may have no impact on rebellious risk takers because they

tend to rebel against "the perceived intended outcome of such messages and

particularly when they feel they are being targeted or challenged" (Lee & Ferguson,

2002). Indeed, Lee and Ferguson found that rebellious individuals reported less

intention to quit smoking after watching the realistic fear ads.

Thus, in order to garner more attention from these individuals, other types of

messages need to be considered when designing messages to prevent binge drinking.

For example, humorous messages can be one of possible alternatives because humor

can increase positive feelings toward the message, followed by a decrease in one's

defensive reactions toward his or her perception of the intended outcomes (Lee &

Ferguson, 2002).

Even though the humorous message can impact rebellious individuals to change

their attitudes or behaviors, little is known about how humor messages persuade them.

Thus, this study explores what happens when risk takers are presented with humorous

messages and how humorous messages can increase the acceptance of messages

and in turn, change the attitudes toward the binge drinking. This study will provide a

sophisticated theoretical understanding about effects of humorous message in









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Distribution of sample ................................ ................ 38

4-2 Means and standard deviations of perceived humor and fear.......................... 39

4-3 The results of manipulation check ...... ........... ... ........................ 39

4-4 Means and standard deviations of message liking ........ ............................ 41

4-5 t-test results of message liking ........................................... 41

4-6 Means and standard deviations of counter-arguing ................................... 43

4-7 t-test results of counter-arguing ........... ........ .... .............. ... ............... 43

4-8 Means and standard deviations of message discounting ............................... 44

4-9 t-test results of message discounting .......... ..... .......... .. ........ ............ 45

4-10 Means and standard deviations of message persuasiveness ......................... 47

4-11 t-test results of messages persuasiveness ........................ ........................ 47

4-12 Means and standard deviations of behavioral intention................. ......... 48

4-13 t-test results of behavioral intention ...... ............ ............... .............. 49









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Eun Go was born in Seoul, South Korea. She earned her B.A. in mass

communication from Ewha Woman's University in 2008 and her M.A. in mass

communication from the University of Florida in 2010, respectively.









distress-avoidant orientation. It is the avoidance of the feelings of distress (i.e., of

sadness and fear), not of the threat itself, that has been observed in highly masculine

individuals. Research supports the view that humor may serve to avoid distress (Francis,

Monahan, & Berger, 1999). In summary, the match between the emotional orientation of

humor appeal on a threatening topic and the distress-avoidant tendency of highly

masculine individuals is faced with the threat that lead these individuals to be more

likely to adopt the preventive behavior presented in the context of humor, compared to a

non-humor appeal.

The patterns of persuasion in risk-takers may follow the similar pattern of those in

highly masculine individuals because high-rebellious people tend to be male, and highly

masculine. Thus, when targeting rebellious risk-takers to discourage binge drinking,

they may like humorous messages more than fear-arousing messages. Because fear-

arousing messages elicit defensive motivation for rebellious risk-takers to rebel against

intended outcomes of such messages that portray negative outcomes of binge drinking,

they will ignore the messages or criticize the messages to defense and rationalize their

risky behaviors. On the other hand, when they encounter humorous messages,

because humorous messages enhance the positive affect toward the messages, they

will enjoy the humorous elements in messages without defensive motivation. Thus, the

following hypothesis is suggested:

H 1-1: High rebellious people will like the humorous messages more than low

rebellious people.

H 1-2: High rebellious people will dislike the fear-arousing messages more than

low rebellious people.









voluntary, confidential, and anonymous in accordance with the university's Internal

Review Board (IRB) regulations and questionnaires of the study. The students who

participated in the study were given the researcher's contact information, in case they

had a question about the study at a later date. The email asking for their participation

was followed by one additional email to remind the participants to complete the online

questionnaire.

Among 302 students, based on the score that participants rated the rebellious risk-

taking tendency, first, participants whose score fell between 1 and 4 (n=160) were

classified as low-rebellious; participants whose score fell between 6 and 9 (n=86) were

classified as high-rebellious. In addition, participants whose score fell in 5 (n=56) were

excluded. However, the low-rebellious group was too large, so participants whose score

fell in 4 were excluded from low-rebellious group (n=59). Thus, finally, low rebellious

group was 101 and high-rebellious group was 86, in total 187.

Measurements

41 questions were created for use in this study. The self-completion questionnaire

including ads took approximately 20 minutes to complete. The questionnaire consisted

of the following sections: risk-taking tendency, perceived humor, perceived fear, liking of

message, counter-arguing, message discounting, persuasiveness of messages,

intention to change drinking behavior and demographic variables.

Risk-Taking Tendency

Participants' risk-taking tendency was assessed using ten items created by Lee

and Chen (2008) with the Cronbach's alpha reliability of .94. Ten items were; "I like wild

parties," "I am rebellious," "I often do things spontaneously," "Life without danger would

be too dull for me," "I enjoy doing things that others find dangerous," "I'm likely to do









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1 Message liking by condition and rebelliousness.............. ................................ 41

4-2 Counter-arguing by condition and rebelliousness.................... ............... 43

4-3 Message discounting by condition and rebelliousness............ ............... 44

4-4 Message persuasiveness by condition and rebelliousness.............................. 46

4-5 Behavioral intention by condition and rebelliousness................................ ... 48









Behavioral Intention (Humor) 2.97 (SD= 1.62) 4.38 (SD= 1.96)
Behavioral Intention (Fear) 4.37 (SD= 1.35) 3.43 (SD= 1.35)


Table 4-13. t-test results of behavioral intention
Effect
Dependent variable t-Ratio p-Value
Humor 4.14 <.001
Behavioral Intention Fear 3.37 <.001









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The first words of appreciation are devoted to my advisor, Prof. Moon Lee, who

has been a truly great person from whom to learn, to work with, and to learn with. I am

also very grateful to my Committee members: Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson and Dr. Spiro

Kiousis, who provided valuable suggestions and assistance throughout the work. I also

thank all of my friends and Korean Gators for their encouragement. Lastly, special

words of gratitude are deserved by my family and my husband Jongho, for love and

support, which motivated me to complete this research.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Descriptive Analysis

In total, 187 (127 male, 60 female) students' response were used in this study.

Based on their rebellious tendency which was assessed by 10 items, participants whose

score fell between 1 and 3 were classified as low rebellious, n = 101 (54 male, 47

female), and participants whose score fell between 6 and 9 were classified as high

rebellious, n = 86 (73 male, 13 female). The average age of participants was 20.10

years (SD = 1.33). Seventy-two percent of participants were Caucasian, 15 percent

Hispanic, 9 percent African-American, 3 percent Asian, and 1 percent other races.

Among 187 participants, 111 viewed humor ads and 76 viewed fear-arousing ads. (see

Table 4-1).

Table 4-1. Distribution of sample
Humor message Fear message Total
High rebellious tendency 53 33 86
Low rebellious tendency 58 43 101
Total 111 76 187

Manipulation Check

To assure whether participants perceived humor or fear, when they viewed each

ad, ten Likert-type questions (five questions for each ad) from the index created by Lee

and Ferguson (2002) were asked after viewing the ads. The items for humorous ads

were; "One of the things I liked about these ads was how funny they were," "I found

myself laughing when I watched these ads," "I think the advertisements I just saw are

very funny," "I enjoy the humor used in these ads," and "I found myself feeling very good

after I watched these ads." The items for fear-arousing ads were; "This ad scared me

about the dangers of binge drinking," "This ad made me think a great deal of the









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Study Design and Stimuli Development

For this study, the experiment was a post-test only model to test the proposed

hypotheses. There were two randomized groups (humor/ fear messages conditions).

For the humorous message and fear-arousing message conditions, television ads were

selected from the Internet, respectively. Humorous ads are defined as ads that use

humor to discourage binge drinking or emphasize making responsible choices about

drinking. On the other hand, fear-arousing ads usually emphasize negative

consequences of binge drinking with scary images.

For the stimuli, four humorous and four fear-arousing television ads from the

Internet were prepared. To choose the most appropriate humorous and fear-arousing

ads, 42 undergraduate students in communication reviewed and rated using the

humor/fear scale created by Lee and Ferguson (2002). The items were; "One of the

things I liked about these ads was how funny they were," "I found myself laughing when

I watched these ads," "I think the advertisements I just saw are very funny," "I enjoy the

humor used in these ads," and "I found myself feeling very good after I watched these

ads." The items for fear-arousing ads were; "This ad scared me about the dangers of

binge drinking," "This ad made me think a great deal of the dangers of binge drinking,"

"This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge drinking level," "This ad truly

make me afraid to binge drinking," and "I found myself feeling very frightened when I

watched this ad." Each humorous ad (mean of ad 1: 4.09, ad 2: 4.13, ad 3: 3.86, ad 4:

3.65) and fear-arousing ad (mean of ad 1: 6.12, ad 2: 5.03, ad 3: 4.40, ad 4: 3.49) was









pro-social and respectable, the companies promote their brands and better their

corporate image (Smith et al., 2006). Thus, responsible drinking campaigns can be

perceived as a sophisticated marketing tool intended to achieve better brand/company

image, and ultimately, to maximize their profits (Smith et al., 2006; Wallack, L., Dorfman,

L., Jernigan, D., & Hansen, J., 1993).

Despite the criticisms, these advertisements provide some insights that need to be

considered when designing messages to prevent binge drinking. For example, alcohol

industry advertisements use various message types and appeals. These

advertisements apply positive emotional appeals such as humor, implying that PSAs

which usually has applied fear appeals also need to develop various types of messages

in order to garner more attention from the target audience.

Recommendations for Interventions

Based on previous campaign efforts made by both industry and government

entities, defining the target audience and designing tailored messages to discourage

binge drinking among college students are important tasks. Tailoring health

communications makes messages more effective because people tend to pay more

attention to tailored messages, remember them more easily, and consider them more

trustworthy than non-tailored messages (Rimal & Adkins, 2003). Messages can be

tailored to personal factors in order to make the message more relevant to the individual

(Murray-Johnson & Witte, 2003). Moreover, health appeals can be tailored to the

message recipients' motivations for performing the behavior and their appraisal of the

situation.

Communicators can target many aspects of the recipients' behavior to motivate

them to adopt a recommended behavior, including issues that increase recipients'









Table 4-10. Means and standard deviations of message persuasiveness
Rebellious Tendency
Dependent variable Low High
Persuasiveness (Humor) 4.78 (SD= 1.49) 5.27 (SD= 1.38)
Persuasiveness (Fear) 5.82 (SD= 1.22) 4.77 (SD= 1.65)

Table 4-11. t-test results of messages persuasiveness
Effect
Dependent variable t-Ratio p-Value
Message Humor .852 >.05
Persuasiveness Fear 3.15 <.01


Behavioral Intention to Change Drinking Habits

Hypotheses 4-1 and 4-2 intend to investigate the relationships between rebellious

tendency and behavioral intentions to change drinking habits. In line with the perception

of message persuasiveness, more rebellious people have more intention to change

their drinking habits when they watch humorous messages than less rebellious people.

On the other hand, when they watch fear-arousing messages more rebellious people

would react less and have less intention to change their drinking behaviors than less

rebellious people because more rebellious people would try to defend their position,

rather than change their behaviors. In conclusion, Hypothesis 4-1 predicted that high-

rebellious people would have more intention to change their drinking habits when they

watch humorous messages than low-rebellious people. Hypothesis 4-2 assumed that

high-rebellious people would have less intention to change their drinking habits when

they watch fear-arousing messages than low-rebellious people.

First, a series of two-way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to

determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message

condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4-5, the interaction effects between

rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on behavioral intention,









In line with messages persuasiveness, if people perceive messages as more

persuasive, they are more likely to accept the messages and change their behavior.

According to the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986), after

scrutinizing and cognitive process toward available information, several message

attributes, for example, argument quality, people tend to create or change their attitudes

or behavioral intention. As the ELM proposed, after assessing the messages, if people

perceive the message as acceptable by reducing counter-argue, they would have

intention to change their behavior. In particular, high-rebellious people are more easily

persuaded by humorous messages, and show more intention to change their behaviors

than do less rebellious people. On the other hand, high-rebellious people tend to have

less intention to change their behaviors than low-rebellious people when they see fear-

arousing messages, because they find those messages unpersuasive. Thus, the

following hypothesis could also be suggested:

H 4-1: High-rebellious people would have more intention to change their drinking

habits when they watch humorous messages than low-rebellious people.

H 4-2: High-rebellious people would have less intention to change their drinking

habits when they watch fear-arousing messages than low-rebellious people.









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

EFFECTS OF ANTI-ALCOHOL MESSAGE TYPES
ON REBELLIOUS RISK-TAKERS

By

Eun Go

August 2010

Chair: Moon Lee
Major: Mass Communication

The present study examines how college students process humorous and fear-

arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. Especially, to explore

how high rebellious risk takers process humorous and fear-arousing messages, this

research examines how much they like, counter-argue against, or discount the

messages, how persuasive they find the message, and their behavioral intention to

change their drinking habits.

A total of 302 people participated in this study. Participants randomly viewed either

humorous ads or fear-arousing ads to discourage binge drinking. Among 302

participants, responses of 187 participants who were included in either high- or low-

rebellious groups were used to analyze results.

Results showed that high-rebellious people thought it more humorous than low-

rebellious people, when they watched the humorous ads. On the other hand, when they

watched the fear-arousing ads, low-rebellious people perceived it as more frightening

than high-rebellious people. In addition, high-rebellious people reported higher levels of

liking toward the humorous ads than low-rebellious people. However, a strong negative









correlation between rebelliousness and liking of fear-arousing messages was found.

Regarding counter-arguing, there is no statistical difference in the level of counter-

arguing between high-rebellious and low-rebellious people in humorous ads, even

though low-rebellious people showed a higher level of counter-arguing. However, when

participants viewed the fear-arousing ads, high-rebellious people reported much a

higher level of counter-arguing than low-rebellious people. Furthermore, a higher level

of discounting humorous ads was shown in high- rebellious people. In other words,

high-rebellious people discount humorous messages as being "just a joke" rather than

taking them seriously. In line with counter-arguing, high-rebellious people who counter-

argued less perceived the humorous messages as being more persuasive than low

rebellious people but, there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, low-rebellious

people who counter-argued the fear-arousing messages less showed higher scores of

perception of persuasiveness in fear-arousing messages. Furthermore, high-rebellious

people indicated higher intention to change their drinking behavior when they watched

humorous ads, but low-rebellious people showed higher intention to change it when

they watched fear-arousing ads.

This research has several theoretical implications in designing messages in that it

attempts to explore the mechanism of processing different types of appeals based on

individuals' characteristics, in particular rebellious tendency. In terms of the reasons

why different types of appeals, humor and fear, influence rebellious risk takers

differently, there is no study to explain the mechanisms of persuasion on rebellious risk

takers. As results of this study indicated, the traditional fear appeals by seriously

portraying the consequences of binge drinking might not be as effective for targeting










APPENDIX C
QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Risk-taking Tendency

To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please
select the proper one consistent with your opinion.


Strongly Strongly
Disagree Agree

1. I like wild parties. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


2. I am rebellious.



3. I often do things spontaneously.



4. Life without danger would be too
dull for me.


5. I enjoy doing things that others find
dangerous.


6. I'm likely to do drugs when I party.


7. I believe rules are meant to be broker


8. I like driving fast.


9. I would love to have new and exciting
experiences, even if they are illegal.


10. I sometimes like to do things that
are frightening.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9









reduce binge drinking among college students (Berkowitz & Perkins, 1986). Traditionally,

these attempts have focused on educating students by teaching alcohol-refusal skills,

enhancing students' self-esteem, and increasing students' awareness of negative

alcohol-related consequences (Haines & Spear, 1996). Many colleges still implement

educational approaches to discourage heavy drinking among students (Wechsler,

Seibring, Lui, & Ahl, 2004). Nonetheless, this approach does not show effective results.

According to Caudill, Luckey, Crosse, Blane, Ginexi, and Campbell (2007), traditional

approaches focusing on educating college students have produced only short-term

effects in preventing heavy drinking; such approaches could not generate long-term

results in reductions of binge drinking.

Traditional programs increase knowledge related to binge drinking and the

associated negative consequences, but they do not reduce drinking behavior (Miller, et

al., 1995; Walters, 2000; Walters, Bennet, & Miller, 2000). Furthermore, traditional

approaches often involve implementing several strategies simultaneously; consequently,

if one prevention effort is somewhat more effective than others, it would be impossible

to determine which one was effective.

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Preventing Binge Drinking

Over the past half-century, thousands of mass media campaigns have

disseminated messages about various health topics to improve the general public's

health condition. These pubic service announcements (PSAs) have been a major tool

used in media campaigns to convince college students to drink responsibly. Indeed,

Treise and her colleagues (1999) found that messages to change drinking behavior are

one of the most common PSAs produced.









preference and loyalty by projecting distinctive brand imagery and extolling

advantageous substantive attributes. Alcohol ad campaigns are designed to promote

generic benefits of alcohol consumption by portraying drinking as an attractive and

rewarding practice. For instance, industry responsibility ads are less likely to feature

threats or mention negative consequences than government/nonprofit ads in terms of

television commercials (Lavack, 1999).

However, industry-sponsored responsible drinking campaigns have been criticized.

The industry's efforts have been regarded by some critics as failing to play a

constructive role in reducing drinking and driving (DeJong, Atkin, and Wallack 1992). In

examining alcohol industry campaigns, researchers found that those companies utilized

ambiguous messages with vague slogans (e.g. Drink Safely) (Smith et al., 2006) that

ultimately proved ineffective (e.g. reducing underage drinking) (Dejong, W., & Atkin, C. ,

1995). For example, the alcohol industry's responsible drinking ads are less likely to

contain information on possible risks associated with excessive drinking than

government/nonprofit sponsored ads (Lavack, 1999). Neither do their ads provide

alcohol consumption guidelines or emphasize abstinence (Ringold, 2008).

Rather, responsible drinking campaign ads undermine the responsible drinking

message by using pro-alcohol images or themes. "Themes and images used in much of

this [responsible] advertising are consistent with the beer companies' regular brand

promotions" (Dejong & Atkin, 1995, p. 663). Through projecting pro-alcohol images,

Dejong and Atkin(1995) note that responsible drinking ads sponsored by the alcohol

industry even encourage excessive alcohol consumption among young adults. Further,

by expressing corporate concern about public health and by projecting the company as









highly rebellious risk takers. First, lower level of message liking in high rebellious people

indicated that fear-arousing message do not attract them enough to process the

messages. Furthermore, the results of higher level of counter-arguing against fear-

arousing messages explain why fear-arousing message may be not effective. These

results suggested that a message might be better designed where the intended

outcome is not obvious that make its rebellious target audience less counter-argues

against that. Also, it seems that humorous ads can weaken rebellious individuals'

defensive reactions and their counter-arguing toward the messages to discourage binge

drinking. In other words, humor might entertain them and create positive mood, in turn

diminishing the probability of triggering one's defensive reactions by counter-arguing.

This study may contribute future message design targeting high risk college

students. Tailoring messages to individual recipients is now common and easy due to

development of communication technology. Therefore, more sophisticated

segmentation strategies of target audiences becoming more important. This study

suggested importance of rebellious tendency in tailoring messages, especially to

discourage undesirable behaviors. In conclusion, humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads

appear to be effective in increasing liking of messages and reducing high rebellious

people's counter-arguing and defensive reactions to the messages and increasing the

susceptibility of recommended actions in messages.









yet to be reliably identified" (Markiewicz, 1975, p. 412). Since then, the effectiveness of

humor as a persuasive message strategy has received considerable attention from

scholars, particularly in the area of advertising (e.g., Alden, Mukherjee, & Hoyer, 2000;

Chattopadhyay & Basu, 1990; Shabbir & Thwaites, 2007; Speck, 1991; Spotts,

Weinberger, & Parsons, 1997; Weinberger & Spotts, 1989). According to Petty and

Cacioppo's (1986) elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and Chaiken's heuristic

systematic model (HSM), humor appears to be associated with peripheral -or more

superficial processing- that occurs when the receiver has less motivation and ability to

process information, because humorous messages generally require little cognitive

effort to process. Thus, in regard to attitudes formed during peripheral processing, the

receiver tends to shift attitude more ephemerally. This relatively short-lived impact of

humorous messages has been argued to be a function of its negative effect.

Although the traditional perspective of humor has downplayed the role of

humorous messages in persuasion, no empirical evidence supports the notion that

humor restricts processing ability (Skalsik et al., 2009). Indeed, Weinberger and Gulas

(1992) concluded that humorous messages generally do not harm comprehension and

in fact almost always attract attention. This review drew some conclusions regarding the

impact of humor in that it attracts attention and enhances ad likability. A recent meta-

analysis of humor literature by Eisend (2009) also found that humor in advertising

significantly enhances positive affect and attention.

Indeed, various studies have demonstrated the attention-attracting ability of humor

in a variety of areas (Madden & Weinberg, 1984; Monahan, 1994; Weinberger & Gulas,

1992). Across the fields of advertising, education, and psychology, research findings on









Risk Taking Tendency

Whereas the sensation-seeking tendency is explained by biological mechanisms,

the risk-taking tendency is based on the risk taker's behavioral tendency. Ferguson,

Valenti, and Melwani (1991) identified several risk-taking types based on behaviors.

They defined the risk-taking tendency as "a tendency to engage in behaviors that an

individual understands to have some likelihood of resulting in a punishment or in the

loss of a reward" (p. 196). They proposed several types of risk-taking tendencies such

as impulsiveness, rebelliousness and adventurousness. In particular, this study deals

with rebellious risk-takers considered the most relevant to binge drinking.

Rebellious risk takers are more involved in risky behaviors because they want to

be perceived as being rebellious or daring among others. This type of risk taker is

reacting to others rather than to potential rewards from risk taking. Being known as a

"risk taker" probably is one of the rewards associated with this behavior (Ferguson et al.,

1991). Thus, individuals in the rebelliousness category take risks for the purpose of

rebelling against perceived social norms and enjoy being called a "rebel" (Ferguson et

al., 1991; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Among the types of risk-taking tendency, one of the

most relevant types related to excessive alcohol consumption is rebellious risk-taking

tendency, similar to Zuckerman's disinhibition (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee & Bichard,

2006; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). The notoriety of being a risk-taker motivates individuals

in the rebelliousness category to engage in binge drinking (Ferguson, et al., 1991; Lee

& Ferguson, 2002).

Humor Appeals in Anti-Alcohol Campaign Messages

In 1975, Markiewicz concluded in her review of the humor literature that, "Humor

apparently has no simple effect on persuasion, and possible moderator variables have









used to measure counterargument. These items included: "I found myself actively

agreeing with the message in the ad (reversed)," "I found myself actively disagreeing

with the message in the ad," "I was looking for flaws in the message's arguments," and

"It was easy to agree with the arguments made in the message (reversed)." The

Cronbach's alpha score for these items is .81.

Message Discounting

Message discounting is conceptualized as dismissing the message as not

containing information relevant to serious judgments. As such, the following four 7-point

Likert items, which were constructed by Nabi (2008) were used: "The message was just

joking," "The message was intended more to entertain than to persuade," "The

message was serious about advancing his views in the message (reversed)," and "It

would be easy to dismiss this message as simply a joke." The Cronbach's alpha score

for these items was .78.

Persuasiveness of Messages

Participants' evaluation of message persuasiveness (Cronbach's a = .85) were

assessed via three items, seven-point bipolar scale, which is anchored by "not

persuasive/ persuasive," "not believable/ believable," "not credible/ credible" (Kim, 2006).

Intention to Change Drinking Behavior

Two items were used to measure intention to change behavior. The items were; "I

would very much like to change my current drinking habits," and "I'm planning to change

my drinking habits very soon."









Miller, W. R., Brown, J. M., Simpson, T. L., Handmaker, N. S., Bien, T. L., Luckie, L. F.,
Montgomery, H. A., Hester, R. K., & Tonigan, J. S. (1995). What works? A
methodological analysis of the alcohol treatment outcome literature, in R. K.
Hester and W. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches
(2nd Ed., pp. 12-44). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Miley, W. M., & Frank, M. (2006). Binge and non-binge college students' perceptions of
other students' drinking habits. College Student Journal, 40(2), 259-262.

Naimi, T.S., Brewer, R.D., Mokdad, A., Denny, C., Serdula, M.K., & Marks, J.S. (2003).
Binge drinking among US adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association,
289 (1), 70-75.

National Cancer Institute. (2008). The role of the media in promoting and reducing
tobacco use. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 19. Bethesda, MD: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National
Cancer Institute. NIH Pub. No. 07-6242

O'Malley, P. M., and Johnston, L. D. (2002). Epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use
among American college students. J. Stud. Alcohol Supplement 14: 23-39.

Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJD) (2005). Drinking in America:
Myths, Realities and Prevention Policy. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of
Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
Washington, DC.

Presley, C. A., Meilman, P. W., & Leichliter, J. S. (2002). College factors that influence
drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol(Suppl. 14), 82-90.

Perkins, H. W. (2002). Social norms and the prevention of alcohol misuse in collegiate
contexts. J. Stud. Alcohol Supplement, 14: 164-172.

Presley, C. A., Meilman, P. W., & Leichliter, J. S. (2002). College factors that influence
drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Suppl. 14, 82-90.

Presley, C. A., Meilman, P. W., Cashin, J. R., & Lyerla, R. (1996). Alcohol and drugs on
American college campuses: Use, consequences, and perceptions of the campus
environment: Volume 1-1989-1991. Carbondale, IL: The Core Institute, Health
Education Program.

Perkins, H. W., & Craig, D. W. (2002). A multifaceted social norms approach to reduce
high-risk drinking: Lessons from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Newton, MA:
Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, U.S. Department
of Education.

Perkins, H. W. (Ed). (2003). The social norms approach to preventing school and
college age substance abuse: A handbook for educators, counselors, and
clinicians. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Approximately 44 % of the college students in the U.S. drink alcohol at binge level

(OJJD, 2005). Indeed, college students are major target consumers for the alcohol

industry, as they maintain the highest rate of alcohol consumption of any age

group. Notably, binge drinking among college students is one of the most challenging

problems on college campuses (Woolberg, 2001) since more than 90% of alcohol

consumption is binge drinking among young adults between 18 and 25 (OJJD, 2005).

To discourage binge drinking among college students, many studies have

attempted to investigate how to design messages to persuade them. Lee and Ferguson

(2002) argued that message designers should look at individuals' risk-taking tendencies

when designing persuasive messages. In particular, college students who possess high

rebellious tendency engage more in binge drinking (Lee & Bichard, 2006; Lee &

Ferguson, 2002). The major characteristic of these individuals is that they tend to take

risks to oppose others' expectations and enjoy being labeled as a rebel (Ferguson,

Valenti & Melwani, 1991; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Since these individuals take risks for

the notoriety of being rebellious, it is logical to take this tendency (particularly, their

tendency to rebel against others' expectations) into consideration when designing

effective messages.

To appeal to these individuals, enormous campaigns using several types of

messages were implemented (Wechsler, Seibring, Lui, & Ahl, 2004). In particular, the

use of fear appeals is the most prevalent in anti-alcohol messages, with threats of

physical harm including injury and death (Reid and King 1986). However, the fear

arousing messages have not resulted in desired outcomes such as increasing intention









risk takers. Consistent with previous research dealing with humor (Green & Brock,

2000; Slater & Rouner, 2002), using humor is successful in getting individuals' initial

attention because they more like and enjoy humorous messages. Also, it seems that

humorous ads can weaken rebellious individuals' defensive reactions and their counter-

arguing toward the messages to discourage binge drinking. In other words, humor might

entertain them and create positive mood, in turn diminishing the probability of triggering

one's defensive reactions by counter-arguing.

This study may contribute future message design targeting high risk college

students. Tailoring messages to individual recipients is now common and easy due to

development of communication technology. Campaign planners can access individuals

and deliver different messages through online venues. Therefore, more sophisticated

segmentation strategies of target audiences becoming more important. To tailor

messages, it is significant to understand the characteristics of the recipient. So far, other

individual characteristics have been dealt, nonetheless, individuals' risk-taking

tendencies have been considered by campaign planners frequently. However, this study

suggested importance of rebellious tendency in designing messages, especially to

discourage undesirable behaviors. In conclusion, humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads

appear to be effective in increasing liking of messages and reducing high rebellious

people's counter-arguing and defensive reactions to the messages and increasing the

susceptibility of recommended actions in messages.

Limitations and Future Research

The current study has several limitations. First, due to the lack of resources,

existing ads were used in this study. Under an ideal circumstance, one would create

messages that address the identical information about the harmful effects of binge











4. This ad truly made me afraid to binge
drinking.

5. I found myself felling very frightened
when I watched this ad.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


4. Liking of Message

To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please
select the proper one consistent with your opinion.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. I like this ad very much.



2. This ad is cool.


3. I can relate myself to the ad.



4. The portrayals in the ad are possible.


5. I had a strong emotional reaction to this
ad.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


5. Counter-arguing

To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please
select the proper one consistent with your opinion.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. I found myself actively agreeing with the
message in the ad.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


2. I found myself actively disagreeing with the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
message in the ad.









Hypothesis Tests


Message Liking

Hypotheses 1-1 and 1-2 explore the association between rebellious tendency

and the liking of messages. The current study assumed that more rebellious risk-takers

may prefer humorous messages that discourage binge drinking to fear-inducing

messages. In general, fear-arousing messages that emphasize negative outcomes lead

rebellious risk-takers to rebel against intended outcomes of such messages as they

believe that, they will not like such messages. However, humorous messages generally

enhance the positive affect toward the messages. As a result, rebellious risk-takers may

enjoy the humorous elements in messages.

Therefore, Hypothesis 1-1 predicted that participants with a high-rebellious

tendency rather than a low-rebellious tendency would like humorous messages more. In

contrast, Hypothesis 1-2 assumed that high-rebellious people would dislike the fear-

arousing messages more than low-rebellious people. A series of independent sample t

tests was conducted to examine the hypotheses related to message liking.

First, a series of two-way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to

determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message

condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4-1, the interaction effects between

rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on liking of messages,

F(1,187) = 23.62, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of

rebellious tendency on liking of messages depended primarily on message types.

More specifically, as Table 2 indicates, the results revealed that high-rebellious

people like humorous messages more (M = 5.06, SD = 1.36) than low-rebellious people

(M = 3.91, SD = 1.40), t(111) = 4.37, p < .001. Regarding Hypothesis 1-2, the results










rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on messages

persuasiveness, F(1,187) = 12.80, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the

effects of rebellious tendency on persuasiveness of messages depended primarily on

message types.

However, table 4-11 demonstrates more rebellious people scored a higher

perception of persuasiveness. However, no statistically significant differences occurred

in the perception of persuasiveness between high-rebellious people (M = 5.27, SD =

1.38) and low-rebellious people (M = 4.78, SD = 1.49), t(111) = .852, p = .073.

Regarding Hypothesis 3-2, the results indicated that more rebellious people perceive

fear-arousing messages as less persuasive (M = 4.77, SD = 1.65) than less rebellious

people (M = 5.82, SD = 1.22): t(76) = 3.15, p < .01. Therefore, H3-1 was rejected, but 3-

2 was confirmed.


6
5.5
5
4.5
4

IMean 3.5 Htunor
3 Fear
2.5
2
1.5
1
Low High

Rebelliousness

Figure 4-4. Message persuasiveness by condition and rebelliousness









A woman walks the street. Dozens of beer bottles are flying at her, but they miss

her and break against the wall. The beer bottles look intimidating, surely, one or two will

hit her sooner of later. The ad suggests that people need to resist alcohol.

Advertisement 3 Don't drink and drive

There is a woman. She holds her photograph in front of her face, so we cannot

see her actual face. In the photo, she looks beautiful. She confesses her getting into a

car accident after drinking and driving. At the end of the ad, she shows her face, and it

is horribly scarred because of the severe accident. The ad warns how you can get

seriously hurt because of your drinking habits.









dangers of binge drinking," "This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge

drinking level," "This ad truly make me afraid to binge drinking," and "I found myself

feeling very frightened when I watched this ad."

An independent t-test was conducted to ensure the success of manipulation. As

expected, the results of independent sample t-test indicated that there were significant

effects of manipulations on humor and fear respectively, t(302) =16.15, p < .001, t(302)

= 30.30, p < .001. The score of the perception of humor in participants who watched

humorous ads (M = 3.69, SD = 1.80) was significantly higher than that of participants

who watched fear-arousing ads (M = 1.12, SD = 0.15). In addition, perception of fear in

fear ads group (M = 5.02, SD = 1.65) was significantly higher than that of humorous ads

group (M = 1.17, SD = 0.21).

Table 4-2. Means and standard deviations of perceived humor and fear
Rebellious Tendency
Dependent variable High Low
Perceived Humor 4.86 (1.58) 2.91 (1.59)
Perceived Fear 4.88 (1.57) 5.28 (1.58)

Table 4-3. The results of manipulation check
Dependent variable Effect
t-Ratio p-Value
Perceived Humor 16.15 <.001
Perceived Fear 30.30 <.001

Furthermore, the results showed that participants who have high-rebellious

tendency, indicated higher perceptions of humor (M = 4.86, SD = 1.57) than those who

have low-rebellious tendency (M = 2.91, SD = 1.59). In addition, high rebellious people

(M = 4.88, SD = 1.57) perceived fear less than low rebellious people (M = 5.28, SD =

1.58).









In terms of message liking, high-rebellious people reported higher levels of liking

toward the humorous ads than low-rebellious people. However, a strong negative

correlation between rebelliousness and liking of fear-arousing messages was found. In

line with the higher score of perceived humor in high-rebellious people, they enjoy

humorous messages more and were less interested in fear-arousing messages. This

result indicated that humor appeals can be more effective than fear appeals in attracting

the attention of high-rebellious people.

Regarding counter-arguing, there is no statistical difference in the level of counter-

arguing between high-rebellious and low-rebellious people in humorous ads, even

though low-rebellious people showed a higher level of counter-arguing. However, when

participants viewed the fear-arousing ads, high-rebellious people reported much a

higher level of counter-arguing than low-rebellious people. This result explains why fear-

arousing messages are not effective with them.

Of particular note is that a higher level of discounting humorous ads was shown in

high- rebellious people. In other words, high-rebellious people discount humorous

messages as being "just a joke" rather than taking them seriously. This result can be

interpreted in two ways. First, it could mean that, because more enjoy the messages

more, they may just enjoy the humorous elements and dismiss the core message. Also,

because the messages are intended to discourage binge drinking, they may not want to

accept the messages seriously because they do not want to consider the drinking issue

seriously.

In line with counter-arguing, high-rebellious people who counter-argued less

perceived the humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious









consistently than non-binge drinkers. These misperceptions of the norms make students

feel justified or even pressured to drink as much as they do (Gomberg, Kessel-

Schneider, & DeJong, 2001). Consequently, the social norms approach attempts to

correct these misperceptions by presenting accurate norms through PSAs.

The social norms approach has been found to be effective in studies on individual

college campuses (Glider, Midyett, Mills-Novoa, Johannessen, & Collins, 2001;

Gomberg, Kessel-Schneider, & DeJong, 2001; Haines & Spear, 1996; Perkins & Craig,

2002; Perkins, 2003). However, national studies suggest this approach is ineffective at

reducing all binge drinking levels on college campuses (O'Malley & Johnston, 2002;

Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, Seibring, Nelson, & Lee, 2002; Wechsler, Nelson, Lee, Seibring,

Lewis, & Keeling, 2003) perhaps because it targets too general of an audience (DeJong

& Atkin, 1995). Thus, a potential solution is to target smaller groups when implementing

campaigns. Moreover, given PSAs' competition with wide spread beer advertisements,

it seems that a larger effort needs to be made to personalize attempts to discourage

students from binge drinking (Saffer, 2002). Personalizing a message to smaller groups

or individual students should be more effective at reducing the binge drinking problem

(Miller et al., 1995; Walters, 2000).

Industry-Sponsored Responsibility Advertising

The alcohol industry has also developed "drink responsibly" campaign to prevent

heavy drinking among younger people. Previous research has identified several

purposes of these "drink responsibly" campaigns (Smith, Atkin, & Roznowski, 2006).

First, alcohol companies attempt to maximize sales of the company brand by increasing

both specific brand share and overall product demand (Wallack, Dorfman, Jernigan, &

Themba, 1993). Moreover, alcohol companies try to create and reinforce brand name









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discouraging binge drinking. Also, the findings of this study will help public health

practitioners acquire a more sophisticated understanding of college students' rebellious

tendency and could be utilized to develop more effective campaign messages.










people (M = 2.43, SD = 1.05), t(76) = 4.19, p < .001. Therefore, Hypothesis 2-1 was

rejected, while Hypothesis 2-2 was confirmed.


6
5.5

5

4.5

4

Mean 3.5
3

2.5

2

1.5

1


SHumnor
- Fear


Low


High


Rebelliousness
Figure 4-2. Counter-arguing by condition and rebelliousness


Table 4-6. Means and standard deviations of counter-arguing
Rebellious Tendency
Dependent variable Low High
Counter-arguing (Humor) 2.99 (SD= 1.50) 2.77 (SD= 1.17)
Counter-arguing (Fear) 2.43 (SD= 1.05) 3.72 (SD= 1.62)

Table 4-7. t-test results of counter-arguing
Effect
Dependent variable t-Ratio p-Value
Humor .86 >.1
Counter-arguing Fear 4.19 <.001

Message Discounting

Research question 1 investigates the relationships between rebellious tendency

and message discounting in the humorous message condition. According to the

literature, humorous messages can function as a "discounting cue." Message


I

I
I









EFFECTS OF ANTI-ALCOHOL MESSAGE TYPES
ON REBELLIOUS RISK-TAKERS



















By

EUN GO















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010









assessed. Based on the rate of each ad, three humorous television ads and three fear-

arousing ads that rated top three were used for this study.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. For the two

groups, study materials, including an information sheet, stimulus ads and the

questionnaire were produced in the form of an online survey, and distribute to

participants by email. Each participant received protesting questions that contained

questions regarding risk-taking tendency, as created by Lee and Ferguson (2002).

Participants were asked to rate the extent to which it reflects risk-taking tendency. After

completing the pretest survey, participants in the humorous message condition viewed

one of three humorous ads. In addition, participants in fear-arousing message condition

watched one of three fear-arousing ads. Underneath the ad, researcher provided the

same information that described the definition and consequences of binge drinking

across the three groups in order to control other factors of ads except types of appeal

(humor and fear) (see Appendix B). After watching the ad, and reading the information,

participants in all two conditions were asked to complete a posttest survey with

questions how humorous or fearful the ad was. Then, likability of the ads, the degree of

counter-arguing and discounting toward the messages, message persuasiveness, and

behavioral intention to change their drinking behaviors were measured.

Participants and Categorization of Rebelliousness

For class credit, 302 participants who took a course from either the college of

journalism and mass communication or department of economics participated in this

study. The researcher obtained the students' email addresses from the classes'

instructors. An email was sent to ask them to participate in this study. All potential

participants were informed by an online consent letter that their participation was









Humor and Message Processing


Liking of Messages

According to meta-analysis (Eisend, 2009), humor in advertising enhances source

liking, attitude toward the advertisements, and positive cognitions while reducing

negative cognitions. When humor is perceived as appropriate for advertising a particular

product or service, it can make the advertisement more likable (Rossiter & Percy 1997).

Sternthal and Craig (1973) concluded that humor enhanced the liking of the sources.

Specifically, humor appears to improve liking of the advertisement and product, and

reduce irritation experienced from the advertisement. In the years since this work,

strong support has been found for this conclusion in both advertising and non-

advertising research. For example, the marketing literature gives strong support for

enhanced liking through the use of humor, which has been shown to increase both

liking of the advertisements (Belch, 1994; Gelb & Pickett, 1983; Speck, 1987) and of the

brand (Gelb & Zinkhan, 1986; Duncan & Nelson, 1985; Gelb & Pickett, 1983).

This strong liking response has significant implications in persuasion because

liking can be an important factor for persuading others. Biel and Bridgwater (1990)

insisted that individuals "who liked a commercial 'a lot' were twice more likely to be

persuaded by it than people who felt neutral toward the advertising" (p.38). Although the

Biel and Bridgwater (1990) study did not consider the audience's characteristics, it is

possible that a humorous message is more effective in a certain group.

For example, Conway and Dube (2002) argued that people with high masculinity

characterized by being independent, forceful, and dominant (Bem, 1981) have a

tendency to avoid experiencing the subjective feelings of distress such as sadness and

fear. This argument is based on evidence for highly masculine individuals having a









public (Ferguson, Valenti, and Melwani, 1991). Thus, understanding the target

audience's risk-taking tendencies should be considered while designing effective

messages to catch their attention, and make them process and accept the messages

more fully.

In terms of the reasons why different types of appeals, humor and fear, influence

rebellious risk takers differently, there is no study to explain the mechanisms of

persuasion on rebellious risk takers. In fact, one study conducted by Lee and Ferguson

(2002) found that humor appeals can play a role to reduce their defensive motivation of

rebellious risk takers. However, there is still no study to explain why fear appeal is not

effective and humor can be alternative one.

As results of this study indicated, the traditional fear appeals by seriously

portraying the consequences of binge drinking might not be as effective for targeting

highly rebellious risk takers. First, lower level of message liking in high rebellious people

indicated that fear-arousing message do not attract them enough to process the

messages. Furthermore, Lee and Ferguson (2002) suggested that rebellious risk takers

tend to rebel against the perceived intended outcome of such messages and particularly

when they feel they are being targeted or challenged. In line with this assumption, the

results of higher level of counter-arguing against fear-arousing messages explain why

fear-arousing message may be not effective. These results suggested that a message

might be better designed where the intended outcome is not obvious that make its

rebellious target audience less counter-argues against that. Thus, ads using a positive

emotion such as humor can be alternative to draw attention from this audience. Indeed,

results of data analysis in humorous ads showed how humor appeal works in rebellious









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The present study examines how college students process humorous and fear-

arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. Thus, this study

focused on how high rebellious people respond to humorous and fear-arousing anti-

alcohol ads compared to low rebellious people. Especially, to explore how high

rebellious risk takers process humorous and fear-arousing messages, this research

examines how much they like, counter-argue against, or discount the messages, how

persuasive they find the message, and their behavioral intention to change their drinking

habits. In this section, the key findings of the study are summarized; theoretical and

practical implications are discussed; and several limitations are addressed.

Key Findings

A total of 302 people participated in this study. Participants randomly viewed either

humorous ads or fear-arousing ads to discourage binge drinking. Then, participants

answered the questionnaire regarding rebellious risk-taking tendency, liking of

messages, counter-arguing, discounting, messages persuasiveness and behavioral

intention. Among 302 participants, responses of 187 participants who were included in

either high- or low-rebellious groups were used to analyze results. Hypotheses were

tested by conducting a series of independent sample t-tests and pass analysis by using

the SPSS programs.

First, when participants watched the humorous ads, high-rebellious people thought

it more humorous than low-rebellious people. On the other hand, when they watched

the fear-arousing ads, low-rebellious people perceived it as more frightening than high-

rebellious people.









Thus, high sensation seekers need strong stimuli linked to feelings of pleasure and

arousal to increase the low amounts of dopamine in their brains.

Various studies in the health communication campaign domain have applied the

concept of sensation seeking to segment the target audience. Indeed, people who have

high sensation-seeking tendency are more likely to engage in abusing behaviors such

as alcohol, drug, and tobacco use as well as risky health behaviors such as delinquency,

aggression, social risk taking, and risky rather than low sensation seekers (Ball, 2001;

Donohew, 1990; Donohew et al., 2000; Jessor & Jessor, 1997; Martin et al., 2004;

Newcomb & Felix-Ortiz, 1992; Stein, Newcomb, & Bentler, 1994; Xiaoming et al., 2000;

Zuckerman & Kuhlman, 2000). This makes high sensation seekers an attractive target

audience for various health-related interventions to prevent risk health behaviors.

Zukerman (1971) found four factors associated with sensation seeking that can be

applied in validation studies to examine sensation seeking behaviors: 1) disinhibition, 2)

thrill and adventure seeking, 3) experience seeking, and 4) boredom susceptibility.

Disinhibition is associated with the seeking of sensation through the loss of social

inhibitions through activities such as heavy social drinking, partying, sex, and gambling.

Thrill and adventure seeking is related to a desire to engage in outdoor sports or other

activities that involve speed and danger. Experience seeking can be defined as

"experience for its own sake" (Zukerman, 1971, p.17), including the use of marijuana

and hallucinatory drugs. Finally, boredom susceptibility is a tendency to avoid boring

environments or persons. Drinking, smoking, and using other illicit drugs have been

shown to have strong correlations with this factor (Kraft & Rise, 1994).










APPENDIX B
EXAMPLE OF STIMULI




UF College of Journalism
V & Communications
UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA


Please watch the video clip.


0 49,1 Juu e i0I ^ J


College students' binge drinking has been regarded as one of the most serious public health problems. A
large number of American college students tend to drink at binge level, which has been defined as having five or
more drinks in a row for males and four or more drinks in a row for females. Irresponsible alcohol use can lead you
to get many risks including greater probabilities of injury, unsafe sexual activity, health problems, victimization of
assaults or rape, sexual harassment, and impaired sleep and study time. In addition, not limiting alcohol use may
lead to depressed mood and lower self-esteem.









people but, there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, low-rebellious people

who counter-argued the fear-arousing messages less showed higher scores of

perception of persuasiveness in fear-arousing messages. Furthermore, high-rebellious

people indicated higher intention to change their drinking behavior when they watched

humorous ads, but low-rebellious people showed higher intention to change it when

they watched fear-arousing ads. These results suggested that for high -rebellious

people, messages with humor appeals can be more effective in persuading them. In

contrast, for low-rebellious people, scaring them with realistic fear-arousing messages

can be more effective as a way to lead to desirable outcomes.

Theoretical and Practical Implication

This research has several theoretical implications in designing messages in that it

attempts to explore the mechanism of processing different types of appeals based on

individuals' characteristics, in particular rebellious tendency. First, despite a large

number of past studies on designing effective health campaign messages, few of them

focused on humor appeals in the context of health communication. In particular, most

studies focused on proving the effectiveness of fear appeals in discouraging

undesirable behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, drug use etc. There have been

few attempts to discover the possibility of humorous messages in health communication

campaigns.

Second, even though many health communication campaigns have taken personal

characteristics such as involvement level, risk perception, self-efficacy, and etc. into

account, when campaigners design their messages, they rarely consider rebellious

tendency. However, it is tremendously important to consider rebellious tendency in that

high-rebellious risk takers tend to engage in risky behaviors more than the general









et al. (1994) found that binge drinking among college students is associated with a

variety of consequences, including greater probabilities of injury, unsafe sexual activity,

health problems, victimization of assaults or rape, sexual harassment, and impaired

sleep and study time. In addition, NIAAA indicated that 1,700 college students die each

year from alcohol-related accidents, mostly from motor-vehicle crashes (Hingson et al.,

2005). Heavy drinkers can also harm others. Students who attended schools with high

rates of binge drinking experienced greater disruption to sleep or study, more property

damage, and more verbal, physical or sexual violence incidents than their peers

attending schools with low binge drinking rates (Wechsler et al., 1995). Approximately

600,000 college students per year are hit or assaulted by another student who has been

drinking (Hingson et al., 2002) and sexual assaults are more common at colleges with

high rates of binge drinking (Wechsler et al., 1995).

Many researchers have investigated the factors that make college students

engage in heavy drinking. The transition from high school to college is a turning point for

young people in that they engage in entirely new social environments. Student

affiliations and their surrounding environments are important determinants of initiating

drinking behavior in college (Weitzman et al., 2003b). Indeed, a higher percentage of

drinkers engaged in heavy drinking at fraternity/sorority parties (Weitzman et al., 2003b).

In addition, college student are more likely to attend sporting events such as football

games, which may encourage excessive drinking.

Interventions to Prevent Binge Drinking Among College Students

Recognizing that binge drinking is a serious problem in the college population,

much funding has been devoted to alcohol reduction programs. However,

undergraduate binge drinking levels remain high. Many attempts have been made to










indicated that high-rebellious people like fear-arousing messages less (M = 2.99, SD =

1.36) than low-rebellious people: (M = 3.81, SD = 1.29), t(76) = 2.70, p < .01. Therefore,

Hypotheses 1-1 and 1-2 were confirmed.


6
5.5
5
4.5
4

Mean 3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1-


- Humior
- Fear


Low


High


Rebelliousness


Figure 4-1. Message liking by condition and rebelliousness


Table 4-4. Means and standard deviations of message liking
Rebellious Tendency
Dependent variable Low High
Message Liking (Humor) 3.91 (SD= 1.40) 5.06 (SD= 1.36)
Message Liking (Fear) 3.81 (SD= 1.29) 2.99 (SD= 1.36)

Table 4-5. t-test results of message liking
Effect
Dependent variable t-Ratio p-Value
Humor 4.37 <.001
Message Liking Fear 2.70 <.001

Counter-Arguing

Hypotheses 2-1 and 2-2 intend to investigate what cognitive process happens

when more rebellious people encounter humorous and fear-arousing messages. In


cr









3 R E S U LT S .......................... ................................ ............................ 38

D escriptive A nalysis..................................... ............... 38
M manipulation Check .......... ......... .......... .. ............. ..... .......... 38
Hypothesis Tests ................ ......... ..................... 40
Message Liking ....... .................. .......... ......... 40
Counter-Arguing .......................... ......... ......... 41
Message Discounting ............... .... ........................ 43
Message Persuasiveness.................... .................. 45
Behavioral Intention to Change Drinking Habits .................... ...... ......... 47

4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION .................................... ....... ............... 50

Key Findings................................................ ...................... ............. 50
Theoretical and Practical Implication ...... ................. ............... 52
Limitations and Future Research ............... .......... .... .. ................. 54

APPENDIX

A DESCRIPTIONS OF ADS USED IN THE EXPERIMENT............... ............... 57

B EXA M PLE O F STIM U LI..................................... ............ ................ 59

C QUESTIONNAIRE .......................... .......... ......... 60

LIST O F R EFER EN C ES ......... ........................................ ...... 65

B IO G RA P H ICA L S KETC H ............. ...................................................... ............... 70























6









perceived susceptibility to a health risk if they do not take the recommended course of

action and increasing recipients' perceived self-efficacy for adopting a behavior by

minimizing their perceived barriers and encouraging more positive attitudes about

performing the behavior. Messages can also be tailored to the person's stage of

behavior change, any behavior or belief related to that behavior, or any other personal

factors associated with the behavior. Brannon and Pilling (2005) reviewed the types of

attributes to which a message can be tailored in order to specifically influence binge

drinking behavior. These attributes include such things as personality factors

impulsivityy), age (being underage versus being of age), reasons for drinking (timing,

escape, friendship), living situation (on-campus versus off-campus), and many others

(see also reviews by Baer, 2002; Dowdall & Wechsler, 2002; Larimer & Cronce, 2002;

Presley, Meilman, & Leichliter, 2002). In conclusion, to prevent binge drinking, it is

important to design tailored messages based on the personal or behavioral

characteristics of target audience.

Who Does Drink Heavily?

Sensation-Seeking Tendency

Sensation seeking is a personal trait associated with desire to seek emotionally

intense stimuli, and take thrill-seeking risks. Sensation seeking is defined by Zuckerman

(1994) as "the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and

experiences, the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the

sake of such experiences" (p. 27). The sensation-seeking tendency is regarded as a

biological trait; individuals with high sensation-seeking tendencies have a lower baseline

of dopamine in their brains (Donohew et al., 2000; Stephenson & Southwell, 2006).










discounting can occur when people discount humorous messages as "just a joke." In

other words, when people encounter a humorous message, they would accept the

message by reducing counter-arguing, but would also discount the message as a joke.

Thus, research question 1 explores whether rebellious people discount messages more

than non-rebellious people.

First, a series of two-way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to

determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message

condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4-3, the interaction effects between

rebellious tendency and message condition were not significant on message

discounting, F(1,187) = .151, p = .698. In other words, high rebellious people showed

higher levels of message discounting regardless of message condition (humor and fear).


6
5.5
5
4.5
4

Mean 3.5 Humor
3 -- Fear

2.5 -"
2
1.5
1
Low High

Rebelliousness


Figure 4-3. Message discounting by condition and rebelliousness




Table 4-8. Means and standard deviations of message discounting
Rebellious Tendency









humor and persuasion have concluded that humor can creates attention and awareness

(Eisend, 2009; Monahan, 1994; Weinberger & Gulas, 1992; Madden & Weinberg, 1984).

In a review of educational literature, studies indicated that humor has a positive effect

on drawing attention from students (Powell & Andresen 1985; Zillmann et al. 1980). This

attention-attracting ability of humorous messages seem particularly valuable in PSAs

and other campaign messages, because it is getting harder to attract audiences'

attention in today's cluttered media landscape. Especially, it is important to understand

the characteristics of the target audience and design the message to attract those

people. For example, when targeting risk-taking people, humorous messages can be

more effective than fear-arousing messages. Especially, this study chooses fear-

arousing messages as a counterpart of humorous messages to explore the

effectiveness of humorous messages. Because fear-arousing messages intend to scare

high-rebellious risk takers to lead to desirable outcomes, the messages elicit their

motivation to challenge them. Indeed, Lee & Ferguson (2002) argued in their study that

traditional fear appeals messages that portray the negative consequence have no

impact on rebellious risk takers because they tend to rebel against "the perceived

intended outcome of such messages, particularly when they feel they are being targeted

or challenged." However, humorous messages increase positive feelings toward the

message. Thus, as positive feelings toward the message increased, rebellious risk

takers' defensive reactions toward their perception of the intended outcomes can be

decreased. In this sense, humorous messages can be one of the possible alternatives

to discourage binge drinking among the target audience.

































To my family, who always believed in me the most









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Binge Drinking and College Students

College students' binge drinking has been regarded as one of the most serious

public health problems (Wechsler & Nelson, 2001). A large number of American college

students tend to drink at binge level, which has been defined as having five or more

drinks in a row for males and four or more drinks in a row for females (Wechsler &

Nelson, 2001). According to a Harvard College Alcohol Study (2004), 44% of college

students drink alcohol at binge level; this rate of binge drinking has been consistent in

other major national surveys as well-including CORE Survey (Presley et al., 1996,

1998), the Monitoring the Future Study (Johnston et al., 2005; O'Malley and Johnston,

2002), the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, 1997; Douglas et al.,

1997), and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental

Health Service Administration, 2006)-despite varying sampling schemes and

methodologies (O'Malley & Johnston, 2002). Moreover, the rate of binge drinking

among college students has not decreased in recent years; rather, their drinking pattern

or style has become more serious (Woolberg, 2001). For example, among drinkers,

almost half (48%) report that drinking to get drunk is an important reason for drinking,

23% of students report that they drink alcohol 10 or more times in a month, and 29% of

students report being intoxicated three or more times in a month (Wechsler et al., 2002).

As college students tend to drink more heavily compared to other age groups, they

are much more likely to report negative consequences (Perkins, 2002). Indeed, their

heavy drinking behaviors have a significant impact on college students' academic

performance, social relationships, risk taking behaviors and health problems. Wechsler









Counterargument

Affective responses elicited by humor may divert a consumer from counter-arguing

a discrepant message. According to the distraction hypothesis, distraction may enhance

message persuasiveness by interfering with the audience's attempts to argue against

the dissonant information. In line with the distraction hypothesis, Petty and Cacioppo

(1986) argued that it greater cognitive elaboration would be expected to elicit more

counter-arguments of a counter-attitudinal message. Reduced counter-arguing, in turn,

may increase acceptance of a humorous message (e.g., Cline & Kellaris 1999; Duncan

1979; Sternthal & Craig 1973). Arias-Bolzmann, Chakraborty, and Mowen (2000) found

that humor messages can result in more positive cognitive responses and hence more

positive attitudes than non-humor messages for those negatively predisposed toward

the product class.

Evidence gathered thus far indicates that humor is persuasive when the target

audience is against the advocated message position, knows enough about the issue to

form counter-arguments, and associates the humor with the incoming messages (Bither

1969; Markiewicz 1974). Furthermore, Gruner (1976) found that persuasion is greatest

among listeners whose initial attitudes are at least in agreement with the position

advocated in a humorously presented message. In the context of anti-alcohol

campaigns, people with rebellious tendencies are likely to be discrepant with the

position held by fear appeal messages that emphasize negative consequences of binge

drinking. Thus, they would attempt to argue against the dissonant information of fear

messages to defend their position. In contrast, humor appeals can provide a means to

reduce their defensive attitudes (Lee & Ferguson, 2002; Monahan, 1994). In addition,

both Green and Brock (2000) and Slater and Rouner (2002) argued that humorous ads











2. Perceived Humor

For the following questions, please indicate how you feel about messages that you just
watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. I think the ad I just saw is very funny.



2. I found myself laughing when I watch this
ad.


3. One of the things I liked about this ad was
how funny it is.


4. I enjoyed the humor used in this ad.


5. I found myself feeling very good after watcl
this ad.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7




1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


3. Perceived Fear

For the following questions, please indicate how you feel about messages that you just
watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. This ad sacred me about the dangers of
binge drinking.


2. This ad made me think a great deal of the
dangers of binge drinking.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


3. This ad reminded me of how risky it is to dr
at binge level. 2 3 4 5 6 7












3. I was looking for flaws in the message's
arguments.

4. It was easy to agree with the arguments
made in the message.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


6. Message discounting


To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please
select the proper one consistent with your opinion.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. The message was just joking.



2. The message was intended more to
entertain than to persuade.


3. The message was serious about advancing
its views in the message.


4. It would be easy to dismiss this message
as simply a joke.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1 2 3 4 5 6 7




1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


7. Message Persuasiveness


For the following questions, please indicate how you feel about messages that you lust
watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options.

"This advertisement is...,"


Not persuasive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Not believable
No2 3 4 5 6 7

Not credible


Persuasive


Believable

Credible









can draw an audience's attention and engage their cognitive efforts. However, the

cognitive focus is placed on following the joke and waiting for the outcome rather than

on examining the validity of the information being presented. In conclusion, when

arguments are delivered in a humorous way, people are less likely to scrutinize the

claims presented-particularly in a challenging or critical way as indicated by the

significant reduction in negative thought generation (Young, 2008). Thus, the following

hypothesis is investigated:

H 2-1: High rebellious people will counter-argue less against humorous messages

than low rebellious people.

H 2-2: High rebellious people will counter-argue more against fear-arousing

messages than low rebellious people.

Message Discounting

Besides the function of humor in reducing counter-arguments, there is another

cognitive process produced by humor messages, that is, message discounting. Nabi,

Moyer-Guse, and Byme (2007) propose the notion of humor as a "discounting cue" that

indicates to the recipient that critical thought is simply not necessary. Message discount

can be occurred when people discount humorous messages as "just a joke." Message

discounting may not only increase counter-arguing generally but also, in turn, impair

perceptions of argument quality. In addition, it can make they do not tend to make

judgments about the issues that humorous messages contain. If people do not make

judgments about the messages, they are likely to ignore or forgot the messages, in turn,

they will not change attitudes or behaviors. Or it is unlikely that, as Weinberger and

Gulas (1992) have noted, meaningful attitude change in response to a humorous

message will emerge in the short run. Experimental studies by Nabi et al. (2007)









1 2 3 4 5 6 7


8. Intentions to Change Drinking Behavior


For the following statements, please choose the answers that most reflect your opinion
about drinking habits by selecting one of the given options.


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Agree


1. I would very much like to change my
current drinking habits.


2. I'm planning to change my drinking habits
very soon.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


General Information

In order to effectively evaluate the survey responses, please answer the following questions
about yourself Please answer the following questions by filling in the blank or checking one
option.

Gender:

D Male
F Female


Age:


Ethnicity:


Arabic
Asian
Black/African American
Caucasian
Hispanic/Latino
Other (Please specify









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drinking, so that the only difference across the ads is the appeal type. Even though

providing the same information that described the definition and consequences of binge

drinking across the two groups to minimize other message factors such as message

quality, slogans, production quality, models used in the ad, date ad was created, etc.),

these elements may affect participant's perception unintentionally. Also, there is the

possibility that participants had previously watched one of the ads. Participants who had

previously seen certain ads may have responded differently to the questions than

participants who had never seen the ad before.

The second limitation is related to the measurements. Participants' intention to

change their behavior was measured by self-reporting. Thus, while answering the

questionnaire, participants might have misreported their intentions. Furthermore, shortly

after participants watched the ads, they were asked to answer questions about their

intention to change their behavior. The immediate short-term influence of the ads can

not be directly linked to long-term influence. Also, regarding rebellious tendency, they

might underestimate their rebellious tendency due to social influence.

For future research, it may be meaningful to construct measurements of counter-

arguing more sophisticatedly. To measure counter-arguing, this study borrowed the

measurement from Nabi's (2008) study. To clarify why high-rebellious people are more

influenced by humorous messages than fear-arousing messages, and vice versa in low-

rebellious people, it is necessary to develop clearer measurements with various

questionnaires. Also, measurements of other target audiences and health topics should

be conducted to continue to identify effective ways to communicate. Such efforts will









TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A C K N O W LE D G M E N T S .................................................................................. ......

LIST O F TA B LE S ...................................................................................... 7

LIS T O F F IG U R E S .................................................................. 8

A B S T R A C T ...................................................................................... 9

INTRO DUCTIO N................................. ............... 12

CHAPTER

1 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................. ........................... ........ 15

Binge Drinking and College Students ......................................................... ...... 15
Interventions to Prevent Binge Drinking Among College Students ......................... 16
Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Preventing Binge Drinking ............ 17
Industry-Sponsored Responsibility Advertising .................... ................ 19
Recom mendations for Interventions .................................................................. 21
W ho Does Drink Heavily? ......................................................... .. ....... 22
Sensation-Seeking Tendency ......................................................... .......... 22
R isk-Taking Tendency............................. ........................... 24
Humor Appeals in Anti-Alcohol Campaign Messages...................... 24
Hum or and M message Processing .................................................................. ... 27
Liking of M essages.............................. ............... 27
Counterargument .......... ............ ............. ................ 29
M message Discounting ................ ...... ...................... .. ....... ............... 30
Message Persuasiveness/ Behavioral Intention Change .............................. 31

2 M E T H O D O LO G Y ......... ............. ...................... ....... ............... 33

Study Design and Stimuli Development.......................... .. ....................... 33
Participants and Categorization of Rebelliousness ................ .... ................ 34
M easurem ents ................. ........... ........................... ............... 35
R isk-T a king T e nde ncy .................................................................. ............... 3 5
Perceived Humor and Fear .................. ...................... 36
Liking of M message ........... ........... ......... .............................. 36
Counter-Arguing ........................ ......... ........... 36
M message D discounting ......... .............. .......... ............... ............... 37
Persuasiveness of M essages................................ ................ ............... 37
Intention to Change Drinking Behavior........................ .... ............... 37









Dependent variable Low High
Discounting 2.87 (SD= 1.21) 3.91 (SD= 0.94)

Table 4-9. t-test results of message discounting
Effect
Dependent variable t-Ratio p-Value
Discounting Humor 5.03 <.001

A series of independent sample t tests was conducted to examine the hypotheses

related to message discounting. Table 4-9 demonstrates that more rebellious people

discount humorous messages more (M = 3.91, SD = 0.94) than less rebellious people

(M = 2.87, SD = 1.21): t(111) = 5.03, p < .001.

Message Persuasiveness

Hypotheses 3-1 and 3-2 explore the association between rebellious tendency and

message persuasiveness. As previously mentioned, more rebellious people would enjoy

humorous messages more and counter-argue them less than less rebellious people.

Thus, they would perceive humorous messages as being more persuasive. On the

other hand, when more rebellious people encounter fear-arousing messages, they

would dislike them and counter-argue them more, thereby perceiving the messages as

less persuasive.

Specifically, Hypothesis 3-1 predicted that high-rebellious people would perceive

humorous messages as being more persuasive than low-rebellious people. In contrast,

Hypothesis 3-2 assumed that high-rebellious people would perceive fear-arousing

messages as being less persuasive than low-rebellious people.

First, a series of two-way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to

determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message

condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4-4, the interaction effects between









particular, this study explores the relationships between rebellious tendency and the

level of counter-arguing. Hypotheses 2-1 and 2-2 assumed that people with high

rebellious tendencies are likely to be discrepant with the position held by fear-arousing

messages that emphasize negative consequences of binge drinking. Thus, they would

attempt to argue against the dissonant information of such messages to defend their

position. In contrast, when arguments are delivered in a humorous way, more rebellious

people are less likely to argue against the messages as humorous appeals can provide

a means to reduce their defensive attitudes (Lee & Ferguson, 2002; Monahan, 1994).

Specifically, Hypothesis 2-1 predicted that high-rebellious people would counter-

argue less against humorous messages than low-rebellious people. In contrast,

Hypothesis 2-2 assumed that high-rebellious people would counter-argue more against

the fear-arousing messages than low-rebellious people.

First, a series of two-way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to

determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message

condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4-2, the interaction effects between

rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on counter-arguing,

F(1,187) = 14.10, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of

rebellious tendency on counter-arguing depended primarily on message types.

However, as evident in Table 4-7, the results revealed that no significant

differences occurred in counter-arguing between more rebellious people (M = 2.77, SD

= 1.17) and less rebellious people (M = 2.99, SD = 1.50): t(111) = .859, p > .1. However,

regarding Hypothesis 2-2, the results indicated that high-rebellious people counter-

argue more against fear-arousing messages (M = 3.72, SD = 1.62) than low-rebellious









The use of fear appeals is perhaps the most common tactic for PSAs, with threats

of physical harm including injury and death (Reid and King 1986). However, the

effectiveness of fear appeals is contradictory. Some researchers have reported greater

attitude change with minimal amounts of fear (Janis and Feshbach 1953), others have

found no relationship between fear and persuasion (Frandsen 1963; Millman 1968), and

still others have noted greater attitude change with a strong fear appeal (Burnett and

Oliver 1979). Although fear may motivate some people not to engage in binge drinking,

Denzin (1984) concluded that fear resides in the individual, not in the message content.

One problem associated with the use of fear appeals aimed at college students is that

the target audience underestimates the risk of excessive drinking. The Institute for

Health Policy (1993) reported that 18-to-25 year olds are the least likely of any age

group to believe that heavy alcohol use is risky. Further, students who consume larger

quantities of alcohol perceive consumption to be significantly less risky than those who

consume smaller quantities (Patterson, Hunnicutt, and Stutts 1992).

The second widely implemented approach in use at universities to discourage

binge drinking is emphasizing social norms. This social norms approach is based on the

finding that students frequently overestimate the amount that their peers drink (Perkins,

2002; Perkins, 2003; Perkins & Berkowitz, 1986). PSAs using the concept of social

norms attempt to provide students with a more accurate perception of the drinking

norms on campus. Research has consistently reported that students tend to

overestimate the number of drinks that defines "binge drinking" while underestimating

the seriousness of problems caused by heavy drinking (Wechsler & Kuo, 2000). Miley

and Frank (2006) noted that binge drinkers overestimate drinking norms more
































2010 Eun Go









APPENDIX A
DESCRIPTIONS OF ADS USED IN THE EXPERIMENT

(1) Humorous Advertisements

Advertisement 1 The choice is yours

Remembering the previous night, a woman believes she danced nicely and

attracted men at a party. However, the ad shows her real last night that she forgot. She

got drunk, causing her to dance funny way in front of public and throw up. The ad shows

how ugly people can be when they are drunk.

Advertisement 2 Drink responsibly

A guide dog drinks a beer that was spilled in the street, then, walks a cross with

the owner, who is blind. However, because the dog gets so drunk, the dog totters and

guides him in a funny way. The ad warns how drunken behavior affects other people

tremendously.

Advertisement 3 Flying beer. Know your limit.

People are dancing and beer cans are flying. As they catch the flying beer, their

dancing becomes funnier as the flying beer cans increase. This ad warns people that

alcohol dose not make them dance cool and recommends knowing their limit.

(2) Fear-arousing Advertisements

Advertisement 1 Decide how you want to look tomorrow

A long shot shows a man's back. He looks like a teenager and holds a bottle of

beer. The camera slowly turns to reveal his face, which surprisingly resembles that of

old man. The ad warns that alcohol harms people's health and appearance.

Advertisement 2 Resist the alcohol









lead us to a better understanding of persuasion in the context of health messages, as

well as more effective ways to offer direction to individuals.

In addition, to confirm the effectiveness of humorous message, it is necessary to

conduct the same experiment with a control group. In other word, this study

demonstrates that fear-arousing message backfires on high-rebellious people. However,

it is unclear that a humorous message is more effective than no message, because this

study did not compare between the effects of humorous messages and those of no

message. Thus, to clarify the effects of humorous messages on high rebellious people,

the additional experiment with a control group is needed.

In summary, this research is the first attempt to outline possible mechanisms to

explain the effectiveness of humorous messages and fear-arousing messages in high-

and low-rebellious people. It has demonstrated why humorous messages are

persuasive to high-rebellious college students, while fear-arousing messages backfire

on them by examining how much they like, argue against, or discount the messages.

The findings of this research provide insight into the complexity of young adults'

processing of humor- and fear-based anti-alcohol-abuse messages.









suggest that this discounting phenomenon may indeed account for some of the

reduction in argument scrutiny in the face of humor. In the study, the authors not only

found a significant reduction in message-relevant thoughts among those who believed

the message was "just a joke."

In conclusion, when people encounter humorous messages, they will accept the

message by reducing counter-arguing, but they will also discount a humorous message

as a joke. Regarding rebellious tendency, it is not clear whether rebellious people

discount messages more than non-rebellious people. Therefore, the following research

question can be investigated.

RQ 1: Is there differences between non-rebellious people and rebellious people in

message discounting?

Message Persuasiveness/ Behavioral Intention Change

Counter-arguing is related to perception of persuasiveness in messages. As

previously mentioned, high-rebellious people would counter-argue humorous messages

less than low-rebellious people. Thus, they would perceive humorous messages as

being more persuasive. On the other hand, when more rebellious people encounter

fear-arousing messages, they would dislike them and counter-argue them more,

thereby perceiving the messages as less persuasive. Thus, the following hypothesis

could also be suggested:

H 3-1: High-rebellious people would perceive humorous messages as being more

persuasive than low-rebellious people.

H 3-2: High-rebellious people would perceive fear-arousing messages as being

less persuasive than low-rebellious people.









drugs when I party," "I believe rules are meant to be broken," "I like driving fast," and "I

would love to have new and exciting experiences, even if they are illegal," and "I

sometimes like to do things that are frightening."

Perceived Humor and Fear

To determine the success of the manipulation, perceived humor and perceived

fear were measured using 10 questions (5 items for humorous message, 5 items for

fear-arousing message). The items for measuring perceived humor are; "I think the ad I

just saw are very funny," "I found myself laughing when I watched this ad," "One of the

things I liked about this ad was how funny they are," "I enjoyed the humor used in this

ad," and "I found myself feeling very good after I watched this ad" with an alpha

reliability of .97.

In addition, the items for measuring perceived fear are; "This ad scared me about

the dangers of binge drinking," "This ad made me think a great deal of the dangers of

binge drinking," "This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge level," "This ad

truly made me afraid to binge drinking," and "I found myself felling very frightened when

I watched this ad." (Cronbach's a = .97)

Liking of Message

Five items which were developed by Lee and Chen (2008) were used to measure

liking of the ads. The items are; "I like this ad very much," "This ad is cool," "I can relate

myself to the ad," "The portrayals in the ad are possible," and "I had a strong emotional

reaction to this ad." The Cronbach's alpha score for these items was .84.

Counter-Arguing

Four 5-point Likert items designed to tap into the participant's tendency to critically

examine or disagree with the message, which were developed by Nabi (2008), were




Full Text

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1 EFFECTS OF ANTI ALCOHOL MESSAGE TYPES ON REBELLIOUS RISKTAKERS By EUN GO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Eun Go

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3 To my family, who always believed in me the most

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The first words of appreciation are devoted to my advisor, Prof. Moon Lee, who has been a truly g reat person from whom to learn, to work with, and to learn with. I am also very grateful to my Committee members: Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson and Dr. Spiro Kiousis who provided valuable suggestions and assistance throughout the work. I also thank all of my frie nds and Korean G ators for their encouragement. Lastly, special words of gratitude are deserved by my family and my husband Jongho, for love and support, w hich motivated me to complete this research.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 7 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 8 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 9 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................... 12 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 15 Binge Drinking and College St udents ..................................................................... 15 Interventions to Prevent Binge Drinking Among College Students ......................... 16 Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Preventing Binge Drinking ............ 17 Industry Sponsored Responsibility Advertising ................................................ 19 Recommendations for Interventions ....................................................................... 21 Who Does Drink Heavily? ....................................................................................... 22 SensationSeeking Tendency ........................................................................... 22 Risk Taking Tendency ...................................................................................... 24 Humor Appeals in Anti Alcohol Campaign Messages ............................................. 24 Humor and Message Processing ............................................................................ 27 Liking of Messages ........................................................................................... 27 Counterargument ............................................................................................. 29 Message Discounting ....................................................................................... 30 Message Persuas iveness/ Behavioral Intention Change ................................. 31 2 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 33 Study Design and Stimuli Development .................................................................. 33 Participants and Categorization of Rebelliousness ................................................. 34 Measurements ........................................................................................................ 35 Risk Taking Tendency ...................................................................................... 35 Perceived Humor and Fear .............................................................................. 36 Liking of Message ............................................................................................ 36 Counter Arguing ............................................................................................... 36 Message Discounting ....................................................................................... 37 Persuasiveness of Messages ........................................................................... 37 Intention to Change Drinking Behavior ............................................................. 37

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6 3 RESULTS ............................................................................................................... 38 Descriptive Analysis ................................................................................................ 38 Manipulation Check ................................................................................................ 38 Hypothesis Tests .................................................................................................... 40 Message Liking ................................................................................................ 40 Counter Arguing ............................................................................................... 41 Message Discounting ....................................................................................... 43 Message Persuasiveness ................................................................................. 45 Behavioral Intention to Change Dr inking Habits ............................................... 47 4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ........................................................................ 50 Key Findings ........................................................................................................... 50 Theoretical and Practical Implication ...................................................................... 52 Limitations and Future Research ............................................................................ 54 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTIONS OF ADS USED IN THE EXPERIMENT ....................................... 57 B EXAMPLE OF STIMULI .......................................................................................... 59 C QUESTIONNAIRE .................................................................................................. 60 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 65 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 70

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Distribution of sample ......................................................................................... 38 4 2 Means and standard deviations of perceived humor and fear ............................ 39 4 3 The results of manipulation check ...................................................................... 39 4 4 Means and standard deviations of message liking ............................................. 41 4 5 t test results of message liking ........................................................................... 41 4 6 Means and standard deviations of counter arguing ............................................ 43 4 7 t test results of counter arguing .......................................................................... 43 4 8 Means and standard deviations of message discounting ................................... 44 4 9 t test results of message discounting ................................................................. 45 4 10 Means and standard deviations of message persuasiveness ............................ 47 4 11 t test results of messages persuasiveness ......................................................... 47 4 12 Means and standard deviations of behavioral intention ...................................... 48 4 13 t test results of behavioral intention .................................................................... 49

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Message liking by condition and rebelliousness ................................................. 41 4 2 Counter arguing by condition and rebelliousness ............................................... 43 4 3 Message discounting by condition and rebelliousness ....................................... 44 4 4 Message persuasiveness by condition and rebelliousness ................................ 46 4 5 Behavioral intention by condition and rebelliousness ......................................... 48

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the R equirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication EFFECTS OF ANTI ALCOHOL MESSAGE TYPES ON REBELLIOUS RISK TAKERS By Eun Go August 2010 Chair: Moon Lee Major: Mass Communication The present study examines how college students process humorous and fear arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. Especially, to explore how high rebellious risk takers process humorous and fear arousing messages, this research examines how much they like, counter argue against, or discount the messages, how persuasive they find the message, and their behavioral intention to change their drinking habit s. A total of 302 people participated in this study. Participants randomly viewed either humorous ads or fear arousing ads to discourage binge drinking. Among 302 participants, responses of 187 participants who were included in either highor low rebelli ous groups were used to analyze results. Results showed that high rebellious people thought it more humorous than low rebellious people, when they watched the humorous ads. On the other hand, when they watched the fear arousing ads, low rebellious people perceived it as more frightening than highrebellious people. I n addition, high rebellious people reported higher levels of liking toward the humorous ads than low rebellious people. However, a strong negative

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10 correlation between rebelliousness and liking of fear arousing messages was found. Regarding counter arguing, there is no statistical difference in the level of counter arguing between highrebellious and low rebellious people in humorous ads, even though low rebellious people showed a higher level of counter arguing. However, when participants viewed the fear arousing ads, highrebellious people reported much a higher level of counter arguing than low rebellious people. F urthermore, a higher level of discounting humorous ads was shown in highrebelli ous people. In other words, high rebellious people discount humorous messages as being just a joke rather than taking them seriously. In line with counter arguing, highrebellious people who counter argued less perceived the humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious people but, there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, low rebellious people who counter argued the fear arousing messages less showed higher scores of perception of persuasiveness in fear arousing messages. Furthermore, highrebellious people indicated higher intention to change their drinking behavior when they watched humorous ads, but low rebellious people showed higher intention to change it when they watched fear arousing ads. This research has several theoretical implications in designing messages in that it attempts to explore the mechanism of processing different types of appeals based on individuals characteristics, in particular rebellious tendency. In terms of the reasons why different types of appeals, humor and fear, influence rebellious risk takers differently, there is no study to explain the mechanisms of persuasion on rebellious risk takers. As results of this study indicated, the traditional fear appeals by seriously portraying the consequences of binge drinking might not be as effective for targeting

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11 highly rebellious risk takers. First, lower level of message liking in high rebellious people indicated that fear arousing message do not attract them enough to process the messages. Furthermore, the results of higher level of counter arguing against fear arousing messages explain why fear arousing message may be not effective. These results suggested that a message might be better designed where the intended outcome is not obvious that make its rebellious target audience less counter argues against that. Also, it seems that humorous ads can weaken rebellious individuals' defensive reactions and their counter arguing toward the messages to discourage binge drinking. In other words, humor might ent ertain them and create positive mood, in turn diminishing the probability of triggering one's defensive reactions by counter arguing. This study may contribute future message design targeting high risk college students. Tailoring messages to individual recipients is now common and easy due to development of communication technology. Therefore, more sophisticated segmentation strategies of target audiences becoming more important. T his study suggested importance of rebellious tendency in tailoring messages, especially to discourage undesirable behaviors. In conclusion, humorous anti alcohol abuse ads appear to be effective in increasing liking of messages and reducing high rebellious peoples counter arguing and defensive reactions to the messages and increasing the susceptibility of recommended actions in messages.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Approximately 44 % of the college students in the U.S. drink alcohol at binge level (OJJD, 2005). Indeed, college students are major target consumers for the alcohol indus try, as they maintain the highest rate of alcohol consumption of any age group. Notably, binge drinking among college students is one of the most challenging problems on college campuses (Woolberg, 2001) since more than 90% of alcohol consumption is binge drinking among young adults between 18 and 25 (OJJD, 2005). To discourage binge drinking among college students, many studies have attempted to investigate how to design messages to persuade them. Lee and Ferguson (2002) argued that message designers should look at individuals risk taking tendencies when designing persuasive messages. In particular, college students who possess high rebellious tendency engage more in binge drinking (Lee & Bichard, 2006; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). The major characteristic of t hese individuals is that they tend to take risks to oppose others' expectations and enjoy being labeled as a rebel (Ferguson, Valenti & Melwani, 1991; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Since these individuals take risks for the notoriety of being rebellious, it is logical to take this tendency (particularly, their tendency to rebel against others expectations) into consideration when designing effective messages. To appeal to these individuals, enormous campaigns using several types of messages were implemented (Wec hsler, Seibring, Lui, & Ahl, 2004). In particular, the use of fear appeals is the most prevalent in anti alcohol messages, with threats of physical harm including injury and death (Reid and King 1986). However, the fear arousing messages have not resulted in desired outcomes such as increasing intention

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13 to modify their drinking behaviors. One possible explanation to account for why fear appeals bring ineffective results in terms of persuading young people is that, as previously mentioned, individuals who have high rebellious tendencies tend to rebel against perceived social norms. Thus, rebellious individuals may respond to messages that discourage binge drinking differently (Ferguson, et al., 1992; Lee & Bichard, 2006; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). In other words, traditional fear appeals messages that portrays the negative consequence may have no impact on rebellious risk takers because they tend to rebel against the perceived intended outcome of such messages and particularly when they feel they are being targeted or challenged (Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Indeed, Lee and Ferguson found that rebellious individuals reported less intention to quit smoking after watching the realistic fear ads. Thus, in order to garner more attention from these individuals, other types of messages need to be considered when designing messages to prevent binge drinking. For example, humorous messages can be one of possible alternatives because humor can increase positive feelings toward the message, followed by a decrease in one's defen sive reactions toward his or her perception of the intended outcomes (Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Even though the humorous message can impact rebellious individuals to change their attitudes or behaviors, little is known about how humor messages persuade them. Thus, this study explores what happens when risk takers are presented with humorous messages and how humorous messages can increase the acceptance of messages and in turn, change the attitudes toward the binge drinking. This study will provide a sophistic ated theoretical understanding about effects of humorous message in

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14 discouraging binge drinking. Also, the findings of this study will help public health practitioners acquire a more sophisticated understanding of college students rebellious tendency and could be utilized to develop more effective campaign messages.

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15 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Binge Drinking and College Students College students binge drinking has been regarded as one of the most serious public health problems (Wechsler & Nelson, 2001) A large number of American college students tend to drink at binge level, which has been defined as having five or more drinks in a row for males and four or more drinks in a row for females (Wechsler & Nelson, 2001). According to a Harvard College Alcoh ol Study (2004), 44% of college students drink alcohol at binge level; this rate of binge drinking has been consistent in other major national surveys as well including CORE Survey (Presley et al., 1996, 1998), the Monitoring the Future Study (Johnston et al., 2005; OMalley and Johnston, 2002), the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, 1997; Douglas et al., 1997), and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Healt h Service Administration, 2006) despite varying sam pling schemes and methodologies (OMalley & Johnston, 2002). Moreover, the rate of binge drinking among college students has not decreased in recent years; rather, their drinking pattern or style has become more serious (Woolberg, 2001). For example, among drinkers, almost half (48%) report that drinking to get drunk is an important reason for drinking, 23% of students report that they drink alcohol 10 or more times in a month, and 29% of students report being intoxicated three or more times in a month (Wec hsler et al., 2002). As college students tend to drink more heavily compared to other age groups, they are much more likely to report negative consequences (Perkins, 2002). Indeed, their heavy drinking behaviors have a significant impact on college student s academic performance, social relationships, risk taking behaviors and health problems. Wechsler

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16 et al. (1994) found that binge drinking among college students is associated with a variety of consequences, including greater probabilities of injury, unsaf e sexual activity, health problems, victimization of assaults or rape, sexual harassment, and impaired sleep and study time. In addition, NIAAA indicated that 1,700 college students die each year from alcohol related accidents, mostly from motor vehicle cr ashes (Hingson et al., 2005). Heavy drinkers can also harm others. Students who attended schools with high rates of binge drinking experienced greater disruption to sleep or study, more property damage, and more verbal, physical or sexual violence incident s than their peers attending schools with low binge drinking rates (Wechsler et al., 1995). Approximately 600,000 college students per year are hit or assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2002) and sexual assaults are more co mmon at colleges with high rates of binge drinking (Wechsler et al., 1995). Many researchers have investigated the factors that make college students engage in heavy drinking. The transition from high school to college is a turning point for young people in that they engage in entirely new social environments. Student affiliations and their surrounding environments are important determinants of initiating drinking behavior in college (Weitzman et al., 2003b). Indeed, a higher percentage of drinkers engaged in heavy drinking at fraternity/sorority parties (Weitzman et al., 2003b). In addition, college student are more likely to attend sporting events such as football games, which may encourage excessive drinking. Intervent ions to Prevent Binge Drinking A mong College Students Recognizing that binge drinking is a serious problem in the college population, much funding has been devoted to alcohol reduction programs. However, undergraduate binge drinking levels remain high. Many attempts have been made to

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17 reduce binge drinking among college students (Berkowitz & Perkins, 1986). Traditionally, these attempts have focused on educating students by teaching alcohol refusal skills, enhancing students self esteem, and increasing students awareness of negative alcohol related consequences (Haines & Spear, 1996). Many colleges still implement educational approaches to discourage heavy drinking among students (Wechsler, Seibring, Lui, & Ahl, 2004). Nonetheless, this approach does not show effective results. According to Caudill, Luckey, Crosse, Blane, Ginexi, and Campbell (2007), traditional approaches focusing on educating college students have produced only short term effects in preventing heavy drinking; such approaches could not generate long term results in reductions of binge drinking. Traditional programs increase knowledge related to binge drinking and the associated negative consequences, but they do not reduce drinking behavior (Miller, et al., 1995; Walters, 2000; Walters, Bennet, & Miller, 2000). Furthermore, traditional approaches often involve implementing several strategies simultaneously; consequently, if one prevention effort is somewhat more effective than others, it would be impossible to determine which one was effective. Public Se rvice Announcements (P SAs) for P reventing Binge D rinking Over the past half century, thousands of mass media campaigns have disseminated messages about various health topics to improve the general publics health condition. These pubic service announcements (PSAs) have been a m ajor tool used in media campaigns to convince college students to drink responsibly. Indeed, Treise and her colleagues (1999) found that messages to change drinking behavior are one of the most common PSAs produced.

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18 The use of fear appeals is perhaps the most common tactic for PSAs, with threats of physical harm including injury and death (Reid and King 1986). However, the effectiveness of fear appeals is contradictory. Some researchers have reported greater attitude change with minimal amounts of fear (Janis and Feshbach 1953), others have found no relationship between fear and persuasion (Frandsen 1963; Millman 1968), and still others have noted greater attitude change with a strong fear appeal (Burnett and Oliver 1979). Although fear may motivate some pe ople not to engage in binge drinking, Denzin (1984) concluded that fear resides in the individual, not in the message content. One problem associated with the use of fear appeals aimed at college students is that the target audience underestimates the risk of excessive drinking. The Institute for Health Policy (1993) reported that 18to 25 year olds are the least likely of any age group to believe that heavy alcohol use is risky. Further, students who consume larger quantities of alcohol perceive consumption to be significantly less risky than those who consume smaller quantities (Patterson, Hunnicutt, and Stutts 1992). The second widely implemented approach in use at universities to discourage binge drinking is emphasizing social norms. This social norms approach is based on the finding that students frequently overestimate the amount that their peers drink (Perkins, 2002; Perkins, 2003; Perkins & Berkowitz, 1986). PSAs using the concept of social norms attempt to provide students with a more accurate perception of the drinking norms on campus. Research has consistently reported that students tend to overestimate the number of drinks that defines binge drinking while underestimating the seriousness of problems caused by heavy drinking (Wechsler & Kuo, 2000). Miley and Frank (2006) noted that binge drinkers overestimate drinking norms more

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19 consistently than nonbinge drinkers. These misperceptions of the norms make students feel justified or even pressured to drink as much as they do (Gomberg, Kessel Schneider, & DeJong, 2001). Consequently, the social norms approach attempts to correct these misperceptions by presenting accurate norms through PSAs. The social norms approach has been found to be effective in studies on individual college campuses (Glider, Mi dyett, Mills Novoa, Johannessen, & Collins, 2001; Gomberg, Kessel Schneider, & DeJong, 2001; Haines & Spear, 1996; Perkins & Craig, 2002; Perkins, 2003). However, national studies suggest this approach is ineffective at reducing all binge drinking levels on college campuses (OMalley & Johnston, 2002; Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, Seibring, Nelson, & Lee, 2002; Wechsler, Nelson, Lee, Seibring, Lewis, & Keeling, 2003) perhaps because it targets too general of an audience (DeJong & Atkin, 1995). Thus, a potential solut ion is to target smaller groups when implementing campaigns. Moreover, gi ven PSAs competition with wide spread beer advertisements, it seems that a larger effort needs to be made to personalize attempts to discourage students from binge drinking (Saffer, 2002). Personalizing a message to smaller groups or individual students should be more effective at reducing the binge drinking problem (Miller et al., 1995; Walters, 2000). Industry Sponsored Responsibility Advertising The alcohol industry has also developed drink responsibly campaign to prevent heavy drinking among younger people. Previous research has identified several purposes of these drink responsibly campaigns (Smith, Atkin, & Roznowski, 2006). First, alcohol companies attempt to maximize sales of the company brand by increasing both specific brand share and overall product demand (Wallack, Dorfman, Jernigan, & Themba, 1993). Moreover, alcohol companies try to create and reinforce brand name

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20 preference and loyalty by projecting distinctive brand imagery and extolling advantageous substantive attributes. Alcohol ad campaigns are designed to promote generic benefits of alcohol consumption by portraying drinking as an attractive and rewarding practice. For instance, industry responsibility ads are less likely to feature threats or mention negative consequences than government/nonprofit ads in terms of television commercials (Lavack, 1999). However, industry sponsored responsible drinking campaigns have been criticized. The industry's efforts have been regarded by some critics as failing to play a constructive role in reducing drinking and driving (DeJong, Atkin, and Wallack 1992). In examining alcohol industry campaigns, researchers found that those companies utilized ambiguous messages with vague slogans (e.g. Drink Safely) (Smith et al., 2006) that ultimately proved ineffective (e.g. reducing underage drinking) (Dejong, W., & Atkin, C. 1995) For example, the alcohol industrys responsible drinking ads are less likely to contain information on poss ible risks associated with excessive drinking than government/nonprofit sponsored ads (Lavack, 1999) Neither do their ads provide alcohol consumption guidelines or emphasize abstinence (Ringold, 2008) Rather, responsible drinking campaign ads under mine the responsible drinking message by using proalcohol images or themes. Themes and images used in much of this [responsible] advertising are consistent with the beer companies regular brand promotions (Dejong & Atkin, 1995, p. 663) Through projec ting pro alcohol images, Dejong and Atkin(1995) note that responsible drinking ads sponsored by the alcohol industry even encourage excessive alcohol consumption among young adults. Further, b y expressing corporate concern about public health and by projec ting the company as

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21 pro social and respectable, the companies promote their brands and better their corporate image (Smith et al., 2006) Thus, responsible drinking campaigns can be perceived as a sophisticated marketing tool intended to achieve better brand/company image, and ultimately, to maximize their profits (Smith et al., 2006; Wallack, L., Dorfman, L., Jernigan, D., & Hansen, J., 1993) Despite the criticisms, these advertisements provide some insights that need to be considered when designing mes sages to prevent binge drinking. For example, alcohol industry advertisements use various message types and appeals. These advertisements apply positive emotional appeals such as humor, implying that PSAs which usually has applied fear appeals also need to develop various types of messages in order to garner more attention from the target audience. Recommendations for Interventions Based on previous campaign efforts made by both industry and government entities, defining the target audience and designing tailored messages to discourage binge drinking among college students are important tasks. Tailoring health communications makes messages more effective because people tend to pay more attention to tailored messages, remember them more easily, and consider them more trustworthy than nontailored messages (Rimal & Adkins, 2003). Messages can be tailored to personal factors in order to make the message more relevant to the individual (Murray Johnson & Witte, 2003). Moreover, health appeals can be tailored to the message recipients motivations for performing the behavior and their appraisal of the situation. Communicators can target many aspects of the recipients behavior to motivate them to adopt a recommended behavior, including issues that increase recipie nts

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22 perceived susceptibility to a health risk if they do not take the recommended course of action and increasing recipients perceived self efficacy for adopting a behavior by minimizing their perceived barriers and encouraging more positive attitudes ab out performing the behavior. Messages can also be tailored to the persons stage of behavior change, any behavior or belief related to that behavior, or any other personal factors associated with the behavior. Brannon and Pilling (2005) reviewed the types of attributes to which a message can be tailored in order to specifically influence binge drinking behavior. These attributes include such things as personality factors (impulsivity), age (being underage versus being of age), reasons for drinking (timing, escape, friendship), living situation (oncampus versus off campus), and many others (see also reviews by Baer, 2002; Dowdall & Wechsler, 2002; Larimer & Cronce, 2002; Presley, Meilman, & Leichliter, 2002). In conclusion, to prevent binge drinking, it is i mportant to design tailored messages based on the personal or behavioral characteristics of target audience. Who Does Drink Heavily? Sensation Seeking Tendency Sensation seeking is a personal trait associated with desire to seek emotionally intense stimuli, and take thrill seeking risks. Sensation seeking is defined by Zuckerman (1994) as the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences (p. 27). The sensationseeking tendency is regarded as a biological trait; individuals with high sensation seeking tendencies have a lower baseline of dopamine in their brains (Donohew et al., 2000; Stephenson & Southwell, 2006).

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23 Thus, high s ensation seekers need strong stimuli linked to feelings of pleasure and arousal to increase the low amounts of dopamine in their brains. Various studies in the health communication campaign domain have applied the concept of sensation seeking to segment t he target audience. Indeed, people who have high sensationseeking tendency are more likely to engage in abusing behaviors such as alcohol, drug, and tobacco use as well as risky health behaviors such as delinquency, aggression, social risk taking, and ris ky rather than low sensation seekers (Ball, 2001; Donohew, 1990; Donohew et al., 2000; Jessor & Jessor, 1997; Martin et al., 2004; Newcomb & Felix Ortiz, 1992; Stein, Newcomb, & Bentler, 1994; Xiaoming et al., 2000; Zuckerman & Kuhlman, 2000). This makes high sensation seekers an attractive target audience for various healthrelated interventions to prevent risk health behaviors. Zukerman (1971) found four factors associated with sensation seeking that can be applied in validation studies to examine sensat ion seeking behaviors: 1) disinhibition, 2) thrill and adventure seeking, 3) experience seeking, and 4) boredom susceptibility. Disinhibition is associated with the seeking of sensation through the loss of social inhibitions through activities such as heav y social drinking, partying, sex, and gambling. Thrill and adventure seeking is related to a desire to engage in outdoor sports or other activities that involve speed and danger. Experience seeking can be defined as experience for its own sake (Zukerman, 1971, p.17), including the use of marijuana and hallucinatory drugs. Finally, boredom susceptibility is a tendency to avoid boring environments or persons. Drinking, smoking, and using other illicit drugs have been shown to have strong correlations with t his factor (Kraft & Rise, 1994).

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24 Risk Taking Tendency Whereas the sensation seeking tendency is explained by biological mechanisms, the risk taking tendency is based on the risk takers behavioral tendency. Ferguson, Valenti, and Melwani (1991) identified several risk taking types based on behaviors. They defined the risk taking tendency as a tendency to engage in behaviors that a n individual understands to have some likelihood of resulting in a punishment or in the loss of a reward (p. 196). They propos ed several types of risk taking tendencies such as imp ulsiveness rebelliousness and adventurousness In particular, this stud y deals with rebellious risk tak ers considered the most relevant to binge drinking R ebellious risk takers are more involved in r isky behaviors because they want to be perceived as being rebellious or daring among others. T his type of risk taker is reacting to others rather than to potential rewards from risk taking. B eing known as a risk taker probably is one of the rewards assoc iated with this behavior ( Ferguson et al., 1991). Thus, individuals in the rebelliousness category take risks for the purpose of rebelling against perceived social norms and enjoy being called a rebel (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Among the types of risk taking tendency, one of the most relevant types related to excessive alcohol consumption is rebellious risk taking tendency, similar to Zuckermans disinhibition (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee & Bichard, 2006; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). The notoriety of being a risk taker motivates individuals in the rebelliousness category to engage in binge drinking (Ferguson, et al., 1991; Lee & Ferguson, 2002). Humor Appeals in Anti Alcohol Campaign M essages In 1975, Markiewicz concluded in her review of th e humor literature that, "Humor apparently has no simple effect on persuasion, and possible moderator variables have

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25 yet to be reliably identified" (Markiewicz, 1975, p. 412). Since then, the effectiveness of humor as a persuasive message strategy has received considerable attention from scholars, particularly in the area of advertising (e.g., Alden, Mukherjee, & Hoyer, 2000; Chattopadhyay & Basu, 1990; Shabbir & Thwaites, 2007; Speck, 1991; Spotts, Weinberger, & Parsons, 1997; Weinberger & Spotts, 1989). A ccording to Petty and Cacioppos (1986) elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and Chaikens heuristic systematic model (HSM), humor appears to be associated with peripheral or more superficial processing that occurs when the receiver has less motivation and ability to process information, because humorous messages generally require little cognitive effort to process. Thus, in regard to attitudes formed during peripheral processing, the receiver tends to shift attitude more ephemerally. This relatively short lived impact of humorous messages has been argued to be a function of its negative effect. Although the traditional perspective of humor has downplayed the role of humorous messages in persuasion, no empirical evidence supports the notion that humor restr icts processing ability (Skalsik et al., 2009). Indeed, Weinberger and Gulas (1992) concluded that humorous messages generally do not harm comprehension and in fact almost always attract attention. This review drew some conclusions regarding the impact of humor in that it attracts attention and enhances ad likability. A recent metaanalysis of humor literature by Eisend (2009) also found that humor in advertising significantly enhances positive affect and attention. Indeed, various studies have demonstrated the attentionattracting ability of humor in a variety of areas (Madden & Weinberg, 1984; Monahan, 1994; Weinberger & Gulas, 1992). Across the fields of advertising, education, and psychology, research findings on

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26 humor and persuasion have concluded that humor can creates attention and awareness (Eisend, 2009; Monahan, 1994; Weinberger & Gulas, 1992; Madden & Weinberg, 1984). In a review of educational literature, studies indicated that humor has a positive effect on drawing attention from students (Powell & Andresen 1985; Zillmann et al. 1980). This attention attracting ability of humorous messages seem particularly valuable in PSAs and other campaign messages, because it is getting harder to attract audiences attention in todays cluttered media landscape. Especially, it is important to understand the characteristics of the target audience and design the message to attract those people. For example, when targeting risk taking people, humorous messages can be more effective than fear arousing messages. Especially, this study chooses fear arousing messages as a counterpart of humorous messages to explore the effectiveness of humorous messages. Because fear arousi ng messages intend to scare high rebellious risk takers to lead to desirable outcomes, the messag es elicit their motivation to challenge them. Indeed, Lee & Ferguson ( 2002) argued in their study that traditional fear appeals messages that portray the negative consequence have no impact on rebellious risk takers because they tend to rebel against the perceived intended outcome of such messages, particularly when they feel they are being targeted or challenged. However, humorous messages increase positive feelings toward the message. Thus, as positive feelings toward the message increased, rebellious r isk takers defensive reactions toward their perception of the intended outcomes can be decreased. In this sense, humorous messages can be one of the possible alternatives to discourage binge drinking among the target audience.

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27 Humor and Message Processin g Liking of Messages According to metaanalysis (Eisend, 2009), humor in advertising enhances source liking, attitude toward the advertisements, and positive cognitions while reducing negative cognitions. When humor is perceived as appropriate for adverti sing a particular product or service, it can make the advertisement more likable (Rossiter & Percy 1997). Sternthal and Craig (1973) concluded that humor enhanced the liking of the sources. Specifically, humor appears to improve liking of the advertisement and product, and reduce irritation experienced from the advertisement. In the years since this work, strong support has been found for this conclusion in both advertising and nonadvertising research. For example, the marketing literature gives strong support for enhanced liking through the use of humor, which has been shown to increase both liking of the advertisements (Belch, 1994; Gelb & Pickett, 1983; Speck, 1987) and of the brand (Gelb & Zinkhan, 1986; Duncan & Nelson, 1985; Gelb & Pickett, 1983). Th is strong liking response has significant implications in persuasion because liking can be an important factor for persuading others. Biel and Bridgwater (1990) insisted that individuals who liked a commercial a lot were twice more likely to be persuaded by it than people who felt neutral toward the advertising (p.38). Although the Biel and Bridgwater (1990) study did not consider the audiences characteristics, it is possible that a humorous message is more effective in a certain group. For example, C onway and Dub (2002) argued that people with high masculinity characterized by being independent, forceful, and dominant (Bem, 1981) have a tendency to avoid experiencing the subjective feelings of distress such as sadness and fear. This argument is based on evidence for highly masculine individuals having a

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28 distressavoidant orientation. It is the avoidance of the feelings of distress (i.e., of sadness and fear), not of the threat itself, that has been observed in highly masculine individuals. Research supports the view that humor may serve to avoid distress (Francis, Monahan, & Berger, 1999). In summary, the match between the emotional orientation of humor appeal on a threatening topic and the distress avoidant tendency of highly masculine individuals is faced with the threat that lead these individuals to be more likely to adopt the preventive behavior presented in the context of humor, compared to a nonhumor appeal. The patterns of persuasion in risk takers may follow the similar pattern of those in hi ghly masculine individuals because highrebellious people tend to be male, and highly masculine. Thus when targeting rebellious risk takers to discourage binge drinking they may like humorous messages more than fear arousing messages. Because fear arousi ng messages elicit defensive motivation for rebellious risk takers to rebel against intended outcomes of such messages that portray negative outcomes of binge drinking, they will ignore the messages or criticize the messages to defense and rationalize thei r risky behaviors. On the other hand, when they encounter humorous messages, because humorous messages enhance the positive affect toward the messages, they will enjoy the humorous elements in messages without defensive motivation. Thus, the following hypothesis is suggested: H 1 1: High rebellious people will like the humorous messages more than low rebellious people. H 1 2 : High rebellious people will dislike the fear arousing messages more than low rebellious people.

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29 Counterargument Affective respons es elicited by humor may divert a consumer from counter arguing a discrepant message. According to the distraction hypothesis, distraction may enhance message persuasiveness by interfering with the audiences attempts to argue against the dissonant information. In line with the distraction hypothesis, Petty and Cacioppo (1986) argued that it greater cognitive elaboration would be expected to elicit more counter arguments of a counter attitudinal message. Reduced counter arguing, in turn, may increase accept ance of a humorous message (e.g., Cline & Kellaris 1999; Duncan 1979; Sternthal & Craig 1973). Arias Bolzmann, Chakraborty, and Mowen (2000) found that humor messages can result in more positive cognitive responses and hence more positive attitudes than non humor messages for those negatively predisposed toward the product class. Evidence gathered thus far indicates that humor is persuasive when the target audience is against the advocated message position, knows enough about the issue to form counter argu ments, and associates the humor with the incoming messages (Bither 1969; Markiewicz 1974). Furthermore, Gruner (1976) found that persuasion is greatest among listeners whose initial attitudes are at least in agreement with the position advocated in a humor ously presented message. In the context of anti alcohol campaigns, people with rebellious tendencies are likely to be discrepant with the position held by fear appeal messages that emphasize negative consequences of binge drinking. Thus, they would attempt to argue against the dissonant information of fear messages to defend their position. In contrast, humor appeals can provide a means to reduce their defensive attitudes (Lee & Ferguson, 2002; Monahan, 1994). In addition, both Green and Brock (2000) and Sl ater and Rouner (2002) argued that humorous ads

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30 can draw an audiences attention and engage their cognitive efforts. However, the cognitive focus is placed on following the joke and waiting for the outcome rather than on examining the validity of the infor mation being presented. In conclusion, when arguments are delivered in a humorous way, people are less likely to scrutinize the claims presentedparticularly in a challenging or critical way as indicated by the significant reduction in negative thought generation (Young, 2008). Thus, the following hypothesis is investigated: H 2 1: High rebellious people will counter argue less against humorous messages than low rebellious people. H 2 2: High rebellious people will counter argue more against fear arousing messages than low rebellious people. Message Discounting Besides the function of humor in reducing counter arguments, there is another cognitive process produced by humor messages, that is, message discounting. Nabi, Moyer Guse, and Byme (2007) propose the notion of humor as a "discounting cue" that indicates to the recipient that critical thought is simply not necessary. Message discount can be occurred when people discount humorous messages as just a joke. Message discounting may not only increase cou nter arguing generally but also, in turn, impair perceptions of argument quality. In addition, it can make they do not tend to make judgments about the issues that humorous messages contain. If people do not make judgments about the messages, they are likely to ignore or forgot the messages, in turn, they will not change attitudes or behaviors. Or it is unlikely that, as Weinberger and Gulas (1992) have noted, meaningful attitude change in response to a humorous message will emerge in the short run. Experim ental studies by Nabi et al. (2007)

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31 suggest that this discounting phenomenon may indeed account for some of the reduction in argument scrutiny in the face of humor. In the study, the authors not only found a significant reduction in messagerelevant thoughts among those who believed the message was "just a joke." In conclusion, when people encounter humorous messages, they will accept the message by reducing counter arguing, but they will also discount a humorous message as a joke. Regarding rebellious ten dency, it is not clear whether rebellious people discount messages more than nonrebellious people. Therefore, the following research question can be investigated. RQ 1: Is there differences between nonrebellious people and rebellious people in message discounting? Message Persuasiveness/ Behavioral Intention C hange Counter arguing is related to perception of persuasiveness in messages. As previously mentioned, highrebellious people would counter argue humorous messages less than low rebellious people. Thus, they would perceive humorous messages as being more persuasive. On the other hand, when more rebellious people encounter fear arousing messages, they would dislike them and counter argue them more, thereby perceiving the messages as less persuasive. Thus, the following hypothesis could also be suggested: H 3 1: High rebellious people would perceive humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious people. H 3 2: High rebellious people would perceive fear arousing messages as being less p ersuasive than low rebellious people.

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32 In line with messages persuasiveness, if people perceive messages as more persuasive, they are more likely to accept the messages and change their behavior. According to the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986), after scrutinizing and cognitive process toward available information, several message attributes, for example, argument quality, people tend to create or change their attitudes or behavioral intention. As the ELM proposed, after assessing the messages, if people perceive the message as acceptable by reducing counter argue, they would have intention to change their behavior. In particular, highrebellious people are more easily persuaded by humorous messages, and show more intention to change their behaviors than do less rebellious people. On the other hand, highrebellious people tend to have less intention to change their behaviors than low rebellious people when they see fear arousing messages, because they find those messages unpersuasiv e. Thus, the following hypothesis could also be suggested: H 4 1: High rebellious people would have more intention to change their drinking habits when they watch humorous messages than low rebellious people. H 4 2: High rebellious people would have less intention to change their drinking habits when they watch fear arousing messages than low rebellious people.

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33 CHAPTER 3 METHOD OLOGY Study D esign and S timul i D evelopment For this study, the experiment was a post test only model to test the proposed hypotheses. There were two randomized groups (humor/ fear messages conditions). For the humorous message and fear arousing message conditions, television ads were selected from the Internet, respectively. Humorous ads are defined as ads that use humor to discourage binge drinking or emphasize making responsible choices about drinking. On the other hand, fear arousing ads usually emphasize negative consequences of binge drinking with scary images. For the stimuli, four humorous and four fear arousing television ads from the Internet were prepared. To choose the most appropriate humorous and fear arousing ads, 42 undergraduate students in communication reviewed and rated using the humor/fear scale created by Lee and Ferguson (2002). The items were; One of the th ings I liked about these ads was how funny they were, I found myself laughing when I watched these ads, I think the advertisements I just saw are very funny, I enjoy the humor used in these ads, and I found myself feeling very good after I watched these ads. The items for fear arousing ads were; This ad scared me about the dangers of binge drinking, This ad made me think a great deal of the dangers of binge drinking, This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge drinking level, This ad truly make me afraid to binge drinking, and I found myself feeling very frightened when I watched this ad. E ach humorous ad (mean of ad 1: 4.09, ad 2: 4.13, ad 3: 3.86, ad 4: 3.65) and fear arousing ad (mean of ad 1: 6.12, ad 2: 5.03, ad 3: 4.40, ad 4: 3.49) was

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34 assessed. Based on the rate of each ad, three humorous television ads and three fear arousing ads that rated top t hree were used for this study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. For the two groups, study materials, including an information sheet, stimulus ads and the questionnaire were produced in the form of an online survey, and distribute to participants by email. E ach participant received pretesting questions that contained questions regarding risk takin g tendency, as created by Lee and Ferguson (2002). Participants were asked to rate the extent to which it reflects risk taking tendency. After completing the pretest survey, participants in the humorous message condition viewed one of three humorous ads I n addition, participants in fear arousing message condition watched one of three fear arousing ads. Underneath the ad, researcher provided the same information that described the definition and consequences of binge drinking across the three groups in order to control other factors of ads except types of appeal (humor and fear) (see Appendix B). After watching the ad, and reading the information, participants in all two conditions were asked to complete a posttest survey with questions how humorous or fear ful the ad was. T hen, likability of the ads, the degree of counter arguing and discounting toward the messages message persuasiveness, and behavioral intention to change their drinking behaviors were measured. Participants and C ategorization of R ebell iousness For class credit, 302 participants who took a course from either the college of journalism and mass communication or department of economics participated in this study. The researcher obtained the students email addresses from the classes instru ctors. An ema il was sent to ask them to participate in this study. All potential participants were informed by an online consent letter that their participation was

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35 voluntary, confidential, and anonymous in accordance with the universitys Internal Review Board (IRB) regulations and questionnaires of the study. The students who participated in the study were given the researchers contact information, in case they had a question about the study at a later date. The email asking for their participation was f ollowed by one additional email to remind the participants to complete the online questionnaire. Among 302 students, based on the score that participants rated the rebellious risk taking tendency, first, participants whose score fell between 1 and 4 (n=160) were classified as low rebellious; participants whose score fell between 6 and 9 (n=86) were classified as high rebellious. In addition, participants whose score fell in 5 (n=56) were excluded. However, the low rebellious group was too large, so partici pants whose score fell in 4 were excluded from low rebellious group (n=59). Thus, finally, low rebellious group was 101 and highrebellious group was 86, in total 187. Measurement s 41 questions w ere created for use in this study. The self completion questi onnaire including ads took approximately 20 minutes to complete. The questionnaire consisted of the following sections: risk taking tendency, perceived humor, perceived fear, liking of message, counter arguing, message discounting, persuasiveness of messag es, intention to change drinking behavior and demographic variables. Risk T aking Tendency Participants risk taking tendency was assessed using ten items created by Lee and Chen (2008) with the Cron bachs alpha reliability of .94 Ten items were; I like wild parties, I am rebellious, I often do things spontaneously, Life without danger would be too dull for me, I enjoy doing things that others find dangerous, Im likely to do

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36 drugs when I party, I believe rules are meant to be broken, I lik e driving fast, and I would love to have new and exciting experiences, even if they are illegal, and I sometimes like to do things that are frightening. Per ceived Humor and Fear To determine the success of the manipulation, perceived humor and percei ved fear were measured using 10 questions (5 items for humorous message, 5 items for fear arousing message). The items for measuring perceived humor are; I think the ad I just saw are very funny, I found myself laughing when I watched this ad, One of the things I liked about this ad was how funny they are, I enjoyed the humor used in this ad, and I found myself feeling very good after I watched this ad with an alpha reliabilit y of .9 7 In addition, the items for measuring perceived fear are; This ad s c a red me about the dangers of binge drinking, This ad made me think a great deal of the dangers of binge drinking, This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge level, This ad truly made me afraid to binge drinking, and I found myself felling very frightened when I watche ) Liking of Message Five items which were developed by Lee and Chen (2008) were used to measure liking of the ads. The items are; I like this ad very much, This ad is cool, I can relate myself to the ad, The portrayals in the ad are possible, and I had a strong emotional reaction to this ad. The Cronbachs alpha score for these items was .84 Counter A rguing Four 5point Likert items designed to tap into the participants tendency to critically examine or disagree w ith the message, which were developed by Nabi (2008), were

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37 used to measure counterargument. These items included: I found myself actively agreeing with the message in the ad (reversed) I found myself actively disagreeing with the message in the ad, I was looking for flaws in the messages arguments, and It was easy to agree with the arguments made in the message (reversed) The Cronbachs alpha scor e for these items is .81 Message D iscounting Message discounting is conceptualized as dismis sing the message as not containing information relevant to serious judgments. As such, the following four 7point Likert items, which were constructed by Nabi (2008) were used: The message was just joking, The message was intended more to entertain t han to persuade, The message was serious about advancing his views in the message (reversed), and It would be easy to dismiss this message as simply a joke. The Cronbachs alpha score for these items was .7 8 Persuasiveness of Messages Participan ts evaluation of message per ) were assessed via three items, sevenpoint bipolar scale, which is anchored by not persuasive/ persuasive, not believable/ believable, not credible/ credible (Kim, 2006). Intention to Change Drinking Behavior Two item s were used to measure intention to change behavior. The items were; I would very much like to change my current drinking habits, and Im planning to change my drinking habits very soon.

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38 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Descriptive Analysis In total, 187 (127 male, 60 female) students response were used in this study. Based on their rebellious tendency which was assessed by 10 items, participants whose score fell between 1 and 3 were classified as low rebellious, n = 101 (54 male, 47 female), and participants whose score fell between 6 and 9 were classified as high rebellious, n = 86 (73 male, 13 female). The average age of participants was 20.10 years ( SD = 1.33). Seventy two percent of participants were Caucasian, 15 percent Hispanic, 9 percent AfricanAmerican, 3 percent Asian, and 1 percent other races. Among 187 participants, 111 viewed humor ads and 76 viewed fear arousing ads. (see Table 4 1). Table 41. Distribution of sample Humor message Fear message Total High rebellious tendency 53 3 3 86 Low rebellious tendency 58 43 101 Total 111 76 187 Manipulation Check To assure whether participants perceived humor or fear, when they viewed each ad, ten Likert type questions (five questions for each ad) from the index creat ed by Lee and Ferguson (2002) were asked after viewing the ads. The items for humorous ads were; One of the things I liked about these ads was how funny they were, I found myself laughing when I watched these ads, I think the advertisements I just saw are very funny, I enjoy the humor used in these ads, and I found myself feeling very good after I watched these ads. The items for fear arousing ads were; This ad scared me about the dangers of binge drinking, This ad made me think a great deal of the

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39 dangers of binge drinking, This ad reminded me of how risky it is to drink at binge drinking level, This ad truly make me afraid to binge drinking, and I found myself feeling very frightened when I watched this ad. An independent t test was co nducted to ensure the success of manipulation. As expected, the results of independent sample t test indicated that there were significant effects of manipulations on humor and fear respectively, t (302) =16.15, p < .001, t (302) = 30.30, p < .001. The score of the perception of humor in participants who watched humorous ads (M = 3.69, SD = 1.80) was significantly higher than that of participants who watched fear arousing ads (M = 1.12, SD = 0.15). In addition, perception of fear in fear ads group (M = 5.02, SD = 1.65) was significantly higher than that of humorous ads group (M = 1.17, SD = 0.21). Table 42. Means and standard deviations of perceived humor and fear Rebellious Tendency Dependent variable High Low Perceived Humor 4.86 (1.58) 2.91 (1.59) Pe rceived Fear 4.88 (1.57) 5.28 (1.58) Table 43. The results of m anipulation check Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Perceived Humor 16.15 <.001 Perceived Fear 30.30 <.001 Furthermore, the results showed that participants who have highreb ellious tendency, indicated higher perceptions of humor (M = 4.86, SD = 1.57) than those who have low rebellious tendency (M = 2.91, SD = 1.59). In addition, high rebellious people (M = 4.88, SD = 1.57) perceived fear less than low rebellious people (M = 5.28, SD = 1.58).

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40 Hypothesis Tests Message Liking Hypotheses 11 and 12 explore the association between rebellious tendency and the liking of messages. The current study assumed that more rebellious risk takers may prefer humorous messages that discourage binge drinking to fear inducing messages. In general, fear arousing messages that emphasize negative outcomes lead rebellious risk takers to rebel against intended outcomes of such messages as they believe that, they will not like such messages. However humorous messages generally enhance the positive affect toward the messages. As a result, rebellious risk takers may enjoy the humorous elements in messages. Therefore, Hypothesis 11 predicted that participants with a highrebellious tendency rather tha n a low rebellious tendency would like humorous messages more. In contrast, Hypothesis 12 assumed that highrebellious people would dislike the fear arousing messages more than low rebellious people. A series of independent sample t tests was conducted to examine the hypotheses related to message liking. First, a series of two way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4 1 the interaction effects between rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on liking of messages, F(1,187) = 23.62, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of rebellious tendency on liking of messages depended primarily on message types. More specifically, as Table 2 indicates, the results revealed that highrebellious people like humorous messages more (M = 5.06, SD = 1.36) than low rebellious people (M = 3.91, SD = 1.40), t (111) = 4.37, p < .001. Regarding Hypothesis 12, the results

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41 indicated that highrebellious people like fear arousing messages less (M = 2.99, SD = 1.36) than low rebellious people: (M = 3.81, SD = 1.29), t(76) = 2.70, p < .01. Therefore, Hypotheses 11 and 12 were confirmed. Fi gure 41. Message liking by condition and rebelliousness Table 44. M eans and standard deviations of message liking Rebellious Tendency Dependent variable Low High Message Liking (Humor) 3.91 (SD= 1.40) 5.06 (SD= 1.36) Message Liking (Fear) 3.81 (S D= 1.29) 2.99 (SD= 1.36) Table 45. t test results of message liking Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Message Liking Humor 4.37 <.001 Fear 2.70 <.001 Counter A rguing Hypotheses 21 and 22 intend to investigate what cognitive process happens when more rebellious people encounter humorous and fear arousing messages. In

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42 particular, this study explores the relationships between rebellious tendency and the level of counter arguing. Hypotheses 21 and 2 2 assumed that people with high rebell ious tendencies are likely to be discrepant with the position held by fear arousing messages that emphasize negative consequences of binge drinking. Thus, they would attempt to argue against the dissonant information of such messages to defend their positi on. In contrast, when arguments are delivered in a humorous way, more rebellious people are less likely to argue against the messages as humorous appeals can provide a means to reduce their defensive attitudes (Lee & Ferguson, 2002; Monahan, 1994). Specif ically, Hypothesis 2 1 predicted that high rebellious people would counter argue less against humorous messages than low rebellious people. In contrast, Hypothesis 22 assumed that highrebellious people would counter argue more against the fear arousing m essages than low rebellious people. First, a series of two way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4 2 the inter action effects between rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on counter arguing F(1,187) = 14.10, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of rebellious tendency on counter arguing depended primarily on message types. However, as evident in Table 4 7 the results revealed that no significant differences occurred in counter arguing between more rebellious people (M = 2.77, SD = 1.17) and less rebellious people (M = 2.99, SD = 1.50): t (111) = .859, p > .1. However, regarding Hypothesis 22, the results indicated that highrebellious people counter argue more against fear arousing messages (M = 3.72, SD = 1.62) than low rebellious

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43 people (M = 2.43, SD = 1.05), t (76) = 4.19, p < .001. Therefore, Hypothesis 21 was rej ected, while Hypothesis 22 was confirmed. Figure 4 2. Counter arguing by condition and rebelliousness Table 46. Means and standard deviations of counter arguing Rebellious Tendency Dependent variable Low High Counter arguing (Humor) 2.99 (SD= 1.5 0) 2.77 (SD= 1.17) Counter arguing (Fear) 2.43 (SD= 1.05) 3.72 (SD= 1.62) Table 47. t test results of counter arguing Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Counter arguing Humor .86 >.1 Fear 4.19 <.001 Message Discounting Research question 1 investigates the relationships between rebellious tendency and message discounting in the humorous message condition. According to the literature, humorous messages can function as a discounting cue. Message

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44 discounting can occur when people discount humorous messages as just a joke. In other words, when people encounter a humorous message, they would accept the message by reducing counter arguing, but would also discount the message as a joke. Thus, research question 1 explores whether rebellious people discount messages more than nonrebellious people. First, a series of two way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message condition (humor and fear). As shown i n Figure 43 the interaction effects between rebellious tendency and message condition were not significant on message discounting F(1,187) = .151, p = .698. In other words, high rebellious people showed higher levels of message discounting regardless of message condition (humor and fear). Figure 43. Message discounting by condition and rebelliousness Table 48. Means and standard deviations of message discounting Rebellious Tendency

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45 Dependent variable Low High Discounting 2.87 (SD= 1.21) 3.91 ( SD= 0.94) Table 49. t test results of message discounting Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Discounting Humor 5.03 <.001 A series of independent sample t tests was conducted to examine the hypotheses related to message discounting. Table 4 9 demonstrates that more rebellious people discount humorous messages more (M = 3.91, SD = 0.94) than less rebellious people (M = 2.87, SD = 1.21): t (111) = 5.03, p < .001. Message Persuasiveness Hypotheses 31 and 32 explore the association between rebellious tendency and message persuasiveness. As previously mentioned, more rebellious people would enjoy humorous messages more and counter argue them less than less rebellious people. Thus, they would perceive humorous messages as being more persuasive. O n the other hand, when more rebellious people encounter fear arousing messages, they would dislike them and counter argue them more, thereby perceiving the messages as less persuasive. Specifically, Hypothesis 31 predicted that highrebellious people would perceive humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious people. In contrast, Hypothesis 32 assumed that highrebellious people would perceive fear arousing messages as being less persuasive than low rebellious people. First, a series o f two way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4 4 the interaction effects between

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46 rebellious tendency and message condition were significant on messages persuasiveness F(1,187) = 12.80, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of rebellious tendency on persuasiveness of messages depended primarily on message types. However, table 4 11 demonstr ates more rebellious people scored a higher perception of persuasiveness. However, no statistically significant differences occurred in the perception of persuasiveness between highrebellious people (M = 5.27, SD = 1.38) and low rebellious people (M = 4.7 8, SD = 1.49), t (111) = .852, p = .073. Regarding Hypothesis 32, the results indicated that more rebellious people perceive fear arousing messages as less persuasive (M = 4.77, SD = 1.65) than less rebellious people (M = 5.82, SD = 1.22): t (76) = 3.15, p < .01. Therefore, H31 was rejected, but 32 was confirmed. Figure 44. Message persuasiveness by condition and rebelliousness

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47 Table 410. Means and standard deviations of message persuasiveness Rebellious Tendency Dependent variable Low High Pers uasiveness (Humor) 4.78 (SD= 1.49) 5.27 (SD= 1.38) Persuasiveness (Fear) 5.82 (SD= 1.22) 4.77 (SD= 1.65) Table 411. t test results of messages persuasiveness Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Message Persuasiveness Humor .852 >.05 Fear 3.15 <.01 Behavioral Intention to Change Drinking Habits Hypotheses 41 and 42 intend to investigate the relationships between rebellious tendency and behavioral intentions to change drinking habits. In line with the perception of message persuasiveness more rebellious people have more intention to change their drinking habits when they watch humorous messages than less rebellious people. On the other hand, when they watch fear arousing messages more rebellious people would react less and have less intention to change their drinking behaviors than less rebellious people because more rebellious people would try to defend their position, rather than change their behaviors. In conclusion, Hypothesis 41 predicted that highrebellious people would have more intention to change their drinking habits when they watch humorous messages than low rebellious people. Hypothesis 42 assumed that high rebellious people would have less intention to change their drinking habits when they watch fear arousing messages than low rebellious people. First, a series of two way ANOVAs (Analysis of Variance) was conducted to determine the interaction effects of rebellious tendency (high and low) and message condition (humor and fear). As shown in Figure 4 5 the interaction effec ts between rebellious tendency and message condition were sig nificant on behavioral intention,

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48 F(1,187) = 24.53, p < .001. In other words, the results revealed that the effects of rebellious tendency on behavioral intention depended primarily on message ty pes. More specifically, as shown in table 3, highrebellious people scored higher intention to change their drinking habits (M = 4.38, SD = 1.96) than low rebellious people (M = 2.97, SD = 1.62), t(111) = 4.138, p < .001 when they watched humorous ads. Regarding Hypothesis 42, the results indicated that highrebellious people scored lower intention to change their drinking habits (M = 3.43, SD = 1.42) than low rebellious people when they watched fear arousing ads (M = 4.37, SD = 0.99), t(76) = 3.369, p = .001. Therefore, H41 and 42 were confirmed. Figure 45. Behavioral intention by condition and rebelliousness Table 412. Means and standard deviations of behavioral intention Rebellious Tendency Dependent variable Low High

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49 Behavioral Intention (Hu mor) 2.97 (SD= 1.62) 4.38 (SD= 1.96) Behavioral Intention (Fear) 4.37 (SD= 1.35) 3.43 (SD= 1.35) Table 413. t test results of behavioral intention Dependent variable Effect t Ratio p Value Behavioral Intention Humor 4.14 <.001 Fear 3.37 < .001

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50 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION The present study examines how college students process humorous and fear arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. Thus, this study focused on how high rebellious people respond to humorous and fear arousing anti alcohol ads compared to low rebellious people. Especially, to explore how high rebellious risk takers process humorous and fear arousing messages, this research examines how much they like, counter argue against, or discount the messag es, how persuasive they find the message, and their behavioral intention to change their drinking habits. In this section, the key findings of the study are summarized; theoretical and practical implications are discussed; and several limitations are addressed. Key Findings A total of 302 people participated in this study. Participants randomly viewed either humorous ads or fear arousing ads to discourage binge drinking. Then, participants answered the questionnaire regarding rebellious risk taking tendency liking of messages, counter arguing, discounting, messages persuasiveness and behavioral intention. Among 302 participants, responses of 187 participants who were included in either highor low rebellious groups were used to analyze results. Hypotheses were tested by conducting a series of independent sample t tests and pass analysis by using the SPSS programs. First, when participants watched the humorous ads, highrebellious people thought it more humorous than low rebellious people. On the other hand, when they watched the fear arousing ads, low rebellious people perceived it as more frightening than highrebellious people.

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51 In terms of message liking, highrebellious people reported higher levels of liking toward the humorous ads than low rebellious people. However, a strong negative correlation between rebelliousness and liking of fear arousing messages was found. In line with the higher score of perceived humor in highrebellious people, they enjoy humorous messages more and were less interested in f ear arousing messages. This result indicated that humor appeals can be more effective than fear appeals in attracting the attention of highrebellious people. Regarding counter arguing, there is no statistical difference in the level of counter arguing between highrebellious and low rebellious people in humorous ads, even though low rebellious people showed a higher level of counter arguing. However, when participants viewed the fear arousing ads, highrebellious people reported much a higher level of cou nter arguing than low rebellious people. This result explains why fear arousing messages are not effective with them. Of particular note is that a higher level of discounting humorous ads was shown in high rebellious people. In other words, highrebellio us people discount humorous messages as being just a joke rather than taking them seriously. This result can be interpreted in two ways. First, it could mean that, because more enjoy the messages more, they may just enjoy the humorous elements and dism iss the core message. Also, because the messages are intended to discourage binge drinking, they may not want to accept the messages seriously because they do not want to consider the drinking issue seriously. In line with counter arguing, highrebellious people who counter argued less perceived the humorous messages as being more persuasive than low rebellious

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52 people but, there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, low rebellious people who counter argued the fear arousing messages less showed higher scores of perception of persuasiveness in fear arousing messages. Furthermore, highrebellious people indicated higher intention to change their drinking behavior when they watched humorous ads, but low rebellious people showed higher intention to change it when they watched fear arousing ads. These results suggested that for high rebellious people, messages with humor appeals can be more effective in persuading them. In contrast, for low rebellious people, scaring them with realistic fear arousing messages can be more effective as a way to lead to desirable outcomes. Theoretical and Practical Implication This research has several theoretical implications in designing messages in that it attempts to explore the mechanism of processing different types of appeals based on individuals characteristics, in particular rebellious tendency. First, despite a large number of past studies on designing effective health campaign messages, few of them focused on humor appeals in the context of health communi cation. In particular, most studies focused on proving the effectiveness of fear appeals in discouraging undesirable behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, drug use etc. There have been few attempts to discover the possibility of humorous messages in h ealth communication campaigns. Second, even though many health communication campaigns have taken personal characteristics such as involvement level, risk perception, self efficacy, and etc. into account, when campaigners design their messages, they rarel y consider rebellious tendency. However, it is tremendously important to consider rebellious tendency in that high rebellious risk takers tend to engage in risky behaviors more than the general

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53 public (Ferguson, Valenti, and Melwani, 1991). Thus, understan ding the target audiences risk taking tendencies should be considered while designing effective messages to catch their attention, and make them process and accept the messages more fully. In terms of the reasons why different types of appeals, humor and fear, influence rebellious risk takers differently, there is no study to explain the mechanisms of persuasion on rebellious risk takers. In fact, one study conducted by Lee and Ferguson (2002) found that humor appeals can play a role to reduce their defens ive motivation of rebellious risk takers. However, there is still no study to explain why fear appeal is not effective and humor can be alternative one. As results of this study indicated, the traditional fear appeals by seriously portraying the consequences of binge drinking might not be as effective for targeting highly rebellious risk takers. First, lower level of message liking in high rebellious people indicated that fear arousing message do not attract them enough to process the messages. Furthermore, Lee and Ferguson (2002) suggested that rebellious risk takers tend to rebel against the perceived intended outcome of such messages and particularly when they feel they are being targeted or challenged. In line with this assumption, the results of higher level of counter arguing against fear arousing messages explain why fear arousing message may be not effective. These results suggested that a message might be better designed where the intended outcome is not obvious that make its rebellious target audie nce less counter argues against that. Thus, ads using a positive emotion such as humor can be alternative to draw attention from this audience. Indeed, results of data analysis in humorous ads showed how humor appeal works in rebellious

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54 risk takers. Consistent with previous research dealing with humor (Green & Brock, 2000; Slater & Rouner, 2002), using humor is successful in getting individuals' initial attention because they more like and enjoy humorous messages. Also, it seems that humorous ads can weaken rebellious individuals' defensive reactions and their counter arguing toward the messages to discourage binge drinking. In other words, humor might entertain them and create positive mood, in turn diminishing the probability of triggering one's defensive reactions by counter arguing. This study may contribute future message design targeting high risk college students. Tailoring messages to individual recipients is now common and easy due to development of communication technology. Campaign planners can ac cess individuals and deliver different messages through online venues. Therefore, more sophisticated segmentation strategies of target audiences becoming more important. To tailor messages, it is significant to understand the characteristics of the recipient. So far, other individual characteristics have been dealt, nonetheless, individuals' risk taking tendencies have been considered by campaign planners frequently. However, this study suggested importance of rebellious tendency in designing messages, especially to discourage undesirable behaviors. In conclusion, humorous anti alcohol abuse ads appear to be effective in increasing liking of messages and reducing high rebellious peoples counter arguing and defensive reactions to the messages and increasing the susceptibility of recommended actions in messages. Limitations and Future Research The current study has several limitations. First, due to the lack of resources, existing ads were used in this study. Under an ideal circumstance, one would create messages that address the identical information about the harmful effects of binge

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55 drinking, so that the only difference across the ads is the appeal type. Even though providing the same information that described the definition and consequences of binge drink ing across the t wo groups to minimize other message factors such as message quality, slogans, production quality, models used in the ad, date ad was created, etc.), these elements may affect participants perception unintentionally. Also, there is the poss ibility that participants had previously watched one of the ads. Participants who had previously seen certain ads may have responded differently to the questions than participants who had never seen the ad before. The second limitation is related to the m easurements. Participants intention to change their behavior was measured by self reporting. Thus, while answering the questionnaire, participants might have misreported their intentions. Furthermore, shortly after participants watched the ads, they were asked to answer questions about their intention to change their behavior. The immediate short term influence of the ads can not be directly linked to long term influence. Also, regarding rebellious tendency, they might underestimate their rebellious tendency due to social influence. For future research, it may be meaningful to construct measurements of counter arguing more sophisticatedly. To measure counter arguing, this study borrowed the measurement from Nabis (2008) study. To clarify why highrebellio us people are more influenced by humorous messages than fear arousing messages, and vice versa in low rebellious people, it is necessary to develop clearer measurements with various questionnaires. Also, measurements of other target audiences and health to pics should be conducted to continue to identify effective ways to communicate. Such efforts will

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56 lead us to a better understanding of persuasion in the context of health messages, as well as more effective ways to offer direction to individuals. In additi on, to confirm the effectiveness of humorous message, it is necessary to conduct the s ame experiment with a control group. In other word, this study demonstrates that fear arousing message backfires on highrebellious people. However, i t is unclear that a humorous message is more effective than no message, because this study did not compare between the effects of humorous messages and those of no message. T h us, to clarify the effects of humorous messages on high rebellious people, the additional experiment with a control group is needed. In summary, this research is the first attempt to outline possible mechanisms to explain the effectiveness of humorous messages and fear arousing messages in highand low rebellious people. It has demonstrated why humorous messages are persuasive to highrebellious college students, while fear arousing messages backfire on them by examining how much they like, argue against, or discount the messages. The findings of this research provide insight into the complexity of young adults processing of humor and fear based anti alcohol abuse messages.

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57 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTIONS OF ADS USED IN THE EXPERIMENT (1) Humorous Advertisements Advertisement 1 The choice is yours Remembering the previous night, a woman believes she danced nicely and attracted men at a party. However, the ad shows her real last night that she forgot. She got drunk, causing her to dance funny way in front of public and throw up. The ad shows how ugly people can be when they are drunk. Advertisement 2 Drink responsibly A guide dog drinks a beer that was spilled in the street, then, walks a cross with the owner, who is blind. However, because the dog gets so drunk, the dog totters and guides him in a funny way. The ad warns how drunken behavior affects other people tremendously. Advertisement 3 Flying beer. Know your limit. People are dancing and beer cans are flying. As they catch the flying beer, their dancing becomes funnier as the flying beer cans increase. This ad warns people that alcohol dose not make them dance cool and recommends knowing their limit. (2) Fear arousing Advertisements Advertisement 1 Decide how you want to look tomorrow A long shot shows a mans back. He looks like a teenager and holds a bottle of beer. The camera slowly turns to reveal his face, which surprisingly resembles that of old man. The ad warns that alcohol harms peoples health and appearance. Advertisement 2 Resist the alcohol

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58 A woman walks the street. Dozens of beer bottles are flying at her, but they miss her and break against the wall. The beer bottles look intimidating, surely, one or two will hit her sooner of later. The ad suggests that people need to resist alcohol. Advertisement 3 Dont drink and drive There is a woman. She holds her photograph in front of her face, so we cannot see her actual face. In the photo, she looks beautiful. She confesses her getting into a car accident after drinking and driving. At the end of the ad, she shows her face, and it is horribly scarred because of the severe accident. The ad w arns how you can get seriously hurt because of your drinking habits.

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59 APPENDIX B EXAMPLE OF STIMULI

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60 APPENDIX C QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Risk taking Tendency To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please select the proper one consistent with your opinion. Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. I like wild parties. _____:_____:_____:_____:__ ___:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2. I am rebellious. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 3. I often do things spontaneously. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4. Life without danger would be too dull f or me. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 5. I enjoy doing things that others find dangerous. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 6. Im likely to do drugs when I party. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7. I believe rules are meant to be broken _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 8. I like driving fast. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9. I would love to have new and exciting experiences, even if they are illegal. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. I sometimes like to do things that are frightening. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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61 2. Perceived Humor For the following questions, please indicate how you feel about messages that you just watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options. Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. I think the ad I just saw is very funny. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. I found myself laughing when I watch this ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. One of the things I liked about this ad was how funny it i s. ____ _:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. I enjoyed the humor used in this ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. I found myself feeling very good after watch this ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. Perceived Fear For the following questions, please indicate h ow you feel about messages that you just watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options. Strongly Strongly Disagre e Agree 1. This ad sacr ed me about the dangers of binge drinking. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. This ad made me think a great deal of the dangers of binge drinking. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. This ad reminded me of how risky it is to dr at binge level. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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62 4. This ad truly made me afraid to binge drinking. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. I found myself felling very frightened when I watc hed this ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. Liking of Message To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please select the proper one consistent with your opinion. Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. I like this ad very much. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. This ad is cool. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. I can relate myself to the ad. _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. The portrayals in the ad are possible. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. I had a strong emotional reaction to this ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. Counter arguing To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Please select the proper one consistent with your opinion. St rongly Strongly D isagree Agree 1. I found myself actively agreeing with the message in the ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. I found myself actively disagreeing with the message in the ad. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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63 3. I was looking for flaws in the messages arguments. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. It was easy to agree with the arguments made in the message. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6. Message discounting To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following st atements? Please select the proper one consistent with your opinion. Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. The message was just joking. _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. The message was intended more to entertain than to persuade. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. The message was serious about advancing its views in the message _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. It would be easy to dismiss this mes sage as simply a joke. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 Message Persuasiveness For the following questions, please indicate how you feel about messages that you just watch in the advertisement by selecting one of the given options. This advertisement is, Not persuasive _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Persuasive Not believable _____:___ __:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Believable Not credible _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Credible

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64 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. Intent ions to Change Drinking Behavior For the following statements, please choose the answers that most reflect your opinion about drinking habits by selecting one of the given options. Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. I would very much like to change my current drinking habits. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. Im planning to cha nge my drinking habits very soon. _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 General Information In order to effectively evaluate the survey responses, please answer the followi ng questions about yourself. Please answer the following questions by filling in the blank or checking one option. Gender: Male Female Age: ________________ Ethnicity: Arabic Asian Black/African American Caucasian Hispanic/Latino Other (Please specify ___________________ )

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70 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Eun Go was born in Seoul, South Korea She earned her B. A in m ass communication from Ewha Womans University in 2008 and her M. A in m ass communication from the University of Florida in 2010, respectively.