Throwback Thursdays

The HRCC’s Throwback Thursday social media series premiered in May 2020. The mission of the series is to highlight older research published by HRCC faculty that could be applied to health communication work during the global COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

 

The Role of Research in Communications Policy Theory and Evidence

The Role of Research in Communications Policy Theory and Evidence

April 15, 2021 - Bella Mody, Johannes M. Bauer, Sungjoong Kim, Steven S. Wildman

This paper develops a theoretical framework for studying the role of research in communications policymaking and presents first findings of a project examining these relations for the United States. At a conceptual level, the paper distinguishes between the epistemic base of communications policy, ideas that influence communications policy and practical knowledge that is used to design specific policy measures. The relations between these areas of knowledge are complicated and multifaceted but lie at the root of understanding the role of research in policymaking. The paper also presents selected findings from two case studies (media ownership, spectrum policy) that allow a more detailed examination of some of the conceptual claims. As the cases illustrate, research does matter but many contingencies apply to whether it is recognized and influential. The paper concludes with a brief synthesis of the main insights and an analysis of the structural conditions of policymaking and academic research that might impede a more fruitful exchange of information between the two realms.

Managing Fear to Promote Healthy Change

Managing Fear to Promote Healthy Change

April 8, 2021 - Kim Witte, Merissa Ferrara, Anthony J. Roberto

This week’s #TBT comes from Dr. Kim Witte, a Communications Scholar and former MSU faculty member. This chapter reviews the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM), presents examples of how EPPM can be an effective tool to promote healthy change, illustrates how scholars have extended the EPPM framework to include the presence of social threat and collective efficacy, discusses the challenges created when the target population reports high levels of pre-existing fear, and offers suggestions for future EPPM scholars trying to make a difference in global health outcomes.

Are "Drink Responsibly" Alcohol Campaigns Strategically Ambiguous?

Are "Drink Responsibly" Alcohol Campaigns Strategically Ambiguous?

April 1, 2021 - Charles K. Atkin, Sandi W. Smith, JoAnn Roznowski

This article applies the concept of strategic ambiguity in examining viewer responses to brewer-sponsored “responsible drinking” television advertising campaigns. Strategically ambiguous messages are designed to engender diverse interpretations between varied audience segments, and these different selective perceptions should translate into relatively uniform positive corporate images. In this study, teenage and young adult respondents were shown a series of television spots from two leading alcohol companies. As predicted, there was a high degree of diversity in meanings of message content and campaign purpose derived by viewers, particularly among less sophisticated teenagers. Moreover, evaluative ratings of messages and sponsors were generally favorable and more uniform than interpretive responses. The research demonstrates how seemingly prohealth messages can serve to subtly advance both industry sales and public relations interests.

Using a Computer Game to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle to College Students: Knowledge Gain and Attitudinal Change

Using a Computer Game to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle to College Students: Knowledge Gain and Attitudinal Change

March 25, 2021 - Wei Peng

The dietary habits and physical activity level of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have increasingly drawn researchers’ attention. The current dissertation study developed a computer game-based healthy lifestyle promotion program to target young adults, especially college students. In collaboration with a dietitian and two programmers, this RightWay Cafe game was developed based on Social Cognitive Theory, Health Belief Model, and Theory of Reasoned Action.

Communicating on Twitter During a Disaster

Communicating on Twitter During a Disaster

March 11, 2021 - Bruno Takahashi, Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Christine Carmichael

Social media in crisis situations, such as natural disasters, have been recognized by scholars and practitioners as key communication channels that can complement traditional channels. However, there is limited empirical examination from the user perspective of the functions that social media play and the factors that explain such uses. In this study we examine Twitter use during and after Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Philippines. We tested a typology of Twitter use based on previous research, and explored external factors – time of use and geographic location – and internal factors – type of stakeholders (e.g. ordinary citizens, journalists, etc.) and social media engagement – to predict these uses. The results showed that different stakeholders used social media mostly for dissemination of second-hand information, in coordinating relief efforts, and in memorializing those affected. Recommendations for future research and applications in future crises are also presented.

How Real-Life Health Messages Engage Our Brains: Shared Processing of Effective Anti-Alcohol Videos

How Real-Life Health Messages Engage Our Brains: Shared Processing of Effective Anti-Alcohol Videos

March 4, 2021 - Dr. Ralf Schmälzle, Britta Renner, Harald T. Schupp, Martin A. Imhof

Health communication via mass media is an important strategy when targeting risky drinking, but many questions remain about how health messages are processed and how they unfold their effects within receivers. Here we examine how the brains of young adults—a key target group for alcohol prevention—‘tune in’ to real-life health prevention messages about risky alcohol use. In a first study, a large sample of authentic public service announcements (PSAs) targeting the risks of alcohol was characterized using established measures of message effectiveness. In the main study, we used inter-subject correlation analysis of fMRI data to examine brain responses to more and less effective PSAs in a sample of young adults. We find that more effective messages command more similar responses within widespread brain regions, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, insulae and precuneus. In previous research, these regions have been related to processing narratives, emotional stimuli, self-relevance and attention towards salient stimuli. The present study thus suggests that more effective health prevention messages have greater ‘neural reach’, i.e. they engage the brains of audience members’ more widely. This work outlines a promising strategy for assessing the effects of health communication at a neural level.

Guys Can't Say That to Guys: Four Experiments Assessing the Normative Motivation Account for Deficiencies in the Emotional Support Provided by Men

Guys Can't Say That to Guys: Four Experiments Assessing the Normative Motivation Account for Deficiencies in the Emotional Support Provided by Men

February 25, 2021 - Dr. Amanda Holstrom, Brant R. Burleson, Cristina M. Gilstrap

Men are less likely than women to provide sensitive emotional support when attempting to comfort others. This paper reports four experiments that tested a normative motivation account for this sex difference, which maintains that men employ less sensitive messages because they desire to avoid acting in what they view as a feminine manner.

Examing the Relationship Between Undergraduate Student Parent Social Support-Seeking Factors, Stress, and Somatic Symptoms: A Two-Model Comparison of Direct and Indirect Effects

Examing the Relationship Between Undergraduate Student Parent Social Support-Seeking Factors, Stress, and Somatic Symptoms: A Two-Model Comparison of Direct and Indirect Effects

February 18, 2021 - Dr. Elizabeth Dorrance-Hall, Kristina M. Scharp

Approximately 4.8 million undergraduate students are also raising at least one child but only 26% of these student parents will graduate within six years. This study aimed to examine how academic and parenting stress influence the relationship between support-seeking factors (i.e., the costs of seeking support and communicated support availability) and somatic health symptoms such as headaches, sleep disruption, and exercise. Two parallel mediation models (n = 185 undergraduate student parents) are compared and revealed strong patterns of indirect effects. Intrapersonal and interpersonal costs indirectly influenced somatic symptoms through academic and parenting stress. Stress also mediated the relationship between support seeking factors and somatic symptoms. Theoretical implications and practical applications are discussed.

Effects of a Technology-assisted Meditation Program on Healthcare Providers' Interoceptive Awareness, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout

Effects of a Technology-assisted Meditation Program on Healthcare Providers' Interoceptive Awareness, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout

February 4, 2021 - Carrie Heeter, Rebecca Lehto, Tom Day, Michelle Wiseman, Marcell Allbritton

Meditation shows promise as a method to counteract or prevent compassion fatigue (CF), burnout, and associated negative personal health issues that can emerge when healthcare providers (HCPs) are repeatedly exposed to patient suffering and related traumatic events in their work. Interoceptive awareness (heightened attention and listening to bodily sensations that arise in response to external and internal physical events and in response to emotions and thoughts) is a documented result of meditation and a possible mechanism of some of meditations’ beneficial outcomes.

Predicting Visual Attention to Nutrition Information on Food Products: The Influence of Motivation and Ability

Predicting Visual Attention to Nutrition Information on Food Products: The Influence of Motivation and Ability

January 28, 2021 - Dr. Monique Turner, Christine Skubisz, Sejal Patel Pandya, Meryl Silverman, Lucinda L. Austin

This week’s #TBT comes from HRCC Faculty Feature of the month Dr. Monique Mitchell Turner, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. This study uses eye-tracking technology to explore the degree to which people pay visual attention to the information contained in food nutrition labels and front-of-package nutrition symbols.

The Role of Anxiety in Seeking and Retaining Risk Information: Testing the Risk Perception Attitude Framework in Two Studies

The Role of Anxiety in Seeking and Retaining Risk Information: Testing the Risk Perception Attitude Framework in Two Studies

January 14, 2021 - Dr. Monique Turner, Rajiv N. Rimal, Daniel Morrison, Hyojin Kim

This week’s #TBT comes from HRCC Faculty Feature of the month Dr. Monique Mitchell Turner, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. The article focuses on why not all people engage in health information seeking behavior.

Between Likes and Shares

Between Likes and Shares

December 18, 2020 - Dr Saleem Alhabash, Dr. Nora Rifon, Dr. Anna McAlister, Dr. Elizabeth Quilliam, Dr. Jef Richards, Amy Hagerstrom

Last week's #TBT comes from HRCC Faculty Feature of the Month and Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising and PR, Dr. Saleem Alhabash and Dr. Nora Rifon, HRCC affiliated faculty member and Professor in the Department of Advertising and PR and focuses on the emotional appeal and virality on the persuasiveness of anti-cyberbullying messages on Facebook.

Fear-Arousing Persuasive Messages

Fear-Arousing Persuasive Messages

December 3, 2020 - Franklin J. Boster and Paul Mongeau

This Throwback Thursday article is from Dr. Franklin J. Boster, former professor in the Michigan State University Department of Communication and Dr. Paul Mongeau, alum of the Michigan State University Communication PhD program. Their study focuses on the effect of incorporating fear-arousing material into a persuasive message and highlights major explanations of fear appeal effects.

A Turn Toward Avoidance? Selective Exposure to Online Political Information

A Turn Toward Avoidance? Selective Exposure to Online Political Information

November 12, 2020 - Dustin Carnahan, R. Kelly Garrett, Emily K. Lynch

Scholars warn that avoidance of attitude-discrepant political information is becoming increasingly common due in part to an ideologically fragmented online news environment that allows individuals to systematically eschew contact with ideas that differ from their own.

How Scientists View The Public, the Media and the Political Process

How Scientists View The Public, the Media and the Political Process

November 5, 2020 - John Besley, Matthew Nisbet

The first issue of Public Understanding of Science in 1992 included a suggestion that science com-munication scholars “supplement our studies and activities on the understanding of science by the public, with studies and activities on the understanding of the public by scientists” (Levy-Leblond, 1992: 20). In the last decade, a number of scholars have taken up this call using in-depth interviews, case studies and surveys with small samples to highlight common elements of scientists’ views about the public. Bauer, Allum and Miller (2007) argue that this phase of research largely began in the mid-1990s as a critique of “scientific institutions and experts who harbor prejudices about an ignorant public” (p. 85).

Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES): Documenting multiple outcomes in stuttering treatment

Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES): Documenting multiple outcomes in stuttering treatment

October 29, 2020 - Dr. J. Scott Yaruss, Robert W. Quesal

In recent years, there has been a growing discussion about the importance of evidence-based practice (EBP) in the field of speech–language pathology. Although the changes associated with implementing EBP affect many aspects of the field, the need for clinicians to document the results of their intervention and to select treatment approaches based on a meaningful body of literature has been particularly apparent in the field of fluency disorders.

Health Promotion and the Knowledge-Attitude-Behavior Continuum

Health Promotion and the Knowledge-Attitude-Behavior Continuum

October 15, 2020 - Erv Bettinghaus

Influencing health behavior through informational campaigns, followed by the expectation of attitude change and subsequent desired behavior changes, is examined is this article by Erv Bettinghaus.

Student-Generated Protective Behaviors to Avert Severe Harm Due to High-Risk Alcohol Consumption

Student-Generated Protective Behaviors to Avert Severe Harm Due to High-Risk Alcohol Consumption

September 24, 2020 - Sandi Smith, Charles Atkin, Carolyn LaPlante, Katherine Klein, Wilma Novales Wibert, Edward Glazer, Alex Mayer, Dennis Martell

High-risk alcohol consumption is a significant problem on college campuses that many students see as a rite of passage in their development into adulthood. Developing effective prevention campaigns designed to lessen or avert the risks associated with alcohol consumption entails understanding how students perceive harmful consequences as well as the ways they protect themselves while drinking.

Can Fear Arousal in Public Health Campaigns Contribute to the Decline of HIV Prevalence?

Can Fear Arousal in Public Health Campaigns Contribute to the Decline of HIV Prevalence?

September 17, 2020 - Kim Witte and Edward C. Green

‘‘Fear appeal’’ campaigns, as they typically are called by academics, have been derided by American AIDS professionals as ‘‘amateurish,’’ ‘‘misguided,’’ and even unethical because they are seen as limiting one’s ability to consider dispassionately a range of responses to a perceived health threat. Yet, many African professionals have embraced fear-based campaigns and claim they are at least one of the reasons HIV infection rates dropped significantly in certain areas.

Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

September 9, 2020 - Bruno Takahashi, Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Christine Carmichael

September is National Preparedness Month which promotes family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. Social media in crisis situations, such as natural disasters, has been recognized by scholars and practitioners as key communication channels that can complement traditional channels. This study from Bruno Takahashi, Edson C. Tandoc Jr. and Christine Carmichael examines Twitter use during and after Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Philippines.

Reading About the Flu Online: How Health-Protective Behavioral Intentions Are Influenced byMedia Multitasking, Polychronicity, and Strength of Health-Related Arguments

Reading About the Flu Online: How Health-Protective Behavioral Intentions Are Influenced byMedia Multitasking, Polychronicity, and Strength of Health-Related Arguments

August 26, 2020 - Anastasia Kononova, Shupei Yuan and Eunsin Joo

As health organizations increasingly use the Internet to communicate medical information and advice (Shortliffe et al., 2000; World Health Organization, 2013), studying factors that affect health information processing and health-protective behaviors becomes extremely important.