Unhealthy or Unsociable? the Influence of Message Framing on Alcohol-related Implicit Attitudes.
AbstractBackground: Research suggests that gain- or loss-framed messages may be an effective way to manipulate attitudes toward health behaviour. However, the majority of this research has focused on the influence of message framing on explicit attitudes. The current study aimed to examine whether alcohol-related implicit attitudes could be altered by exposing participants to different message frames. Methods: Participants (N=196) completed an alcohol-related Implicit Association Test (IAT) before being exposed to either gain- or loss-framed social or health-based messages aimed at making implicit attitudes toward alcohol more negative. Participants then completed another IAT after reading the message. Findings: Messages targeting the social aspects of drinking produced a significant negative shift in implicit attitudes from pre- to post-test, while health-based messages had no influence. Gain- or loss-framed messages showed no significant differences in influencing implicit attitudes. Discussion: Results suggest that attempts to make alcohol-related implicit attitudes more negative should focus on highlighting the negative social outcomes that result from consuming alcohol.