Dispositional Motivations and Message Framing: A Test of the Congruency Hypothesis in College Students

Traci Mann, David Sherman, John Updegraff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined the congruency hypothesis that health messages framed to be concordant with dispositional motivations will be most effective in promoting health behaviors. Undergraduate students (N = 63) completed a measure of approach/avoidance orientation (behavioral activation/inhibition system) and read a gain- or loss-framed message promoting flossing. Results support the congruency hypothesis: When given a loss-framed message, avoidance-oriented people reported flossing more than approach-oriented people, and when given a gain-framed message, approach-oriented people reported flossing more than avoidance-oriented people. Discussion centers on implications for health interventions and the route by which dispositional motivations affect health behaviors through message framing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

Keywords

  • Approach and avoidance motivation
  • Behavior change
  • Message framing

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