The Comparative Efficacy of a Hybrid Guilt-Fear Appeal and a Traditional Fear Appeal to Influence HPV Vaccination Intentions

Nick Carcioppolo, Cong Li, Elena V. Chudnovskaya, Rebecca Kharsa, Tyler Stephan, Kelly Nickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Recent research on persuasion has explored the utility of incorporating alternative emotional appeals within a fear-appeal framework to achieve persuasive outcomes. The current study contributes to this growing body of research by developing and assessing a hybrid guilt-fear message to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination intentions and comparing it to a standard fear appeal. An online experiment among men and women of vaccination age (N = 407) was conducted. Results detail the paths through which people processed the hybrid and fear appeals differently, and clarify the conditions in which utilizing guilt-based messaging strategies within a fear-appeal framework can facilitate or inhibit persuasive effectiveness. Implications for future research on multiemotion intervention messages are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-458
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



  • cancer prevention
  • emotional appeals
  • fear
  • fear appeals
  • guilt
  • HPV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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