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Title: Testing the hypothesis of Rothman and Salovey (1997) under a choice task, a time constraint and when decision making on the behalf of another
Author: Tomlinson, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 0118
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2009
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The presentation of information is central to decisions to engage in a treatment and the uptake of health care behaviours. Hence understanding the processes which are responsible for framing effects within the health domain is crucial to achieving effective and unbiased communication. Within the message framing literature decision making is considered being a function of the valence of the information which is presented. Research has shown that individuals are more likely to attend a screening examination when information is presented as a loss a frame and more likely to engage in preventative behaviour when information is presented as a gain frame. However according to Rothman and Salovey (1997); Rothman, Kelly, Hertel, and Salovey (2003) it is the degree to which performing a health behaviour presents risk to the individual that determines whether a positively or negatively valenced version of information is more likely to be effective in encouraging the behaviour advocated. To date, studies assessing the hypothesis by Rothman and Salovey (1997); Rothman et al (2003) have only considered framing effects in the case of decision making for the self, and have not considered how framing of information may influence choice tasks. Additionally emotional reactions to risk information may play a part in determining the influence of framing effects (Lowe and Ferguson, 2003). The first experiment explored the acceptance of a blood transfusion for the self and on the behalf of a family member and friend within the frameworks of Rothman and Salovey (1997). In relation to this, the risk – as - feelings hypothesis by Lowenstein, Weber, Hsee, and Welch (2001) which postulates a direct effect of feelings onto choice, was examined. In the second chapter a standardised(word study changed to chapter as this not an experiment and so it is correct not to call as such chapter) instrument to measure factors around which people decide to accept blood transfusion products was developed. The final two experiments tested the two hypotheses in relation to a choice task and under a time constraint. Under a time constraint the potential for cognitive processes to play a role in decision making is reduced and the role of hot cognitions (emotions) is heightened. Hence the last experiment aimed to expose the role that affect may contribute to message framing effects by investigating whether the same framing effects could be observed when choosing between two blood transfusion products with and without a time constraint. When making a decision on the behalf of the self, a family member and a friend to accept a blood transfusion or to choose between two blood transfusion types a gain frame effect was observed. The framing effect did not alter under a time constraint in the case of decision making on the behalf of any potential recipient. Investigations of affect (trait, anticipated and immediate emotion) and cognitive motivational factors important to decision making as potential mediators produced null results. However, direct effects of immediate emotion were observed when decision making was for the self, family member and a friend in the first experiment and in the case of the self in Experiment 3. The findings obtained lend support to the increasing call for both cognitive and emotive processes to be incorporated into models of decision making, and to the argument by Rothman and Salovey (1997) that the function of the treatment under consideration moderates framing effects. The blood transfusion service gains valuable information on the importance of psychological factors to aid in planning public information campaigns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: WB Practice of medicine