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“ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?”: ATTITUDINAL EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO ABORTION NARRATIVES

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abstract
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) frequently include explicit persuasive appeals against abortion in their educational materials and resources. These appeals, despite the inaccurate claims typically made within, may be a crucial element within the persuasive communication process (Tan 2008; Kelly 2012). Further, their content may inform attitude change and development in the individuals to whom they are shown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of explicitly non-credible anti-abortion appeals through the use of two different modes of CPC marketing materials that both discuss abortion and breast cancer. I was particularly interested in the perceptions of narrative credibility, as previous research has suggested that messages with lower levels of credibility may be more persuasive than messages with high levels of credibility (Dholakia and Sternthal 1977; Coursey 1992). Undergraduate students from Wake Forest University aged 18-23 were recruited through Facebook and e-mail advertisements to participate in a study regarding CPC marketing materials. Sixty students (N = 60) were randomly assigned to a stimulus material and asked to complete a post-exposure questionnaire. Levels of transportation, identification, narrative engagement, and perceptions of credibility were used to determine the effectiveness of narrative modality. Perceptions of credibility were not found to differ depending on stimulus material modality, nor did they predict attitudes toward abortion. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.
subject
Abortion
Attitude
Credibility
Narrative Engagement
Persuasion
Transportation
contributor
Sartain, Carolyn Neal (author)
Giles, Steven M. (committee chair)
Gupta, Kristina A. (committee member)
date
2018-05-24T08:35:47Z (accessioned)
2018-05-24T08:35:47Z (available)
2018 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/90688 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
“ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?”: ATTITUDINAL EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO ABORTION NARRATIVES
type
Thesis

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