How Can Fear Arousal Be Used as a Method of Health Promotion?

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Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to increase control over their own health and therefore improving their health. An example of recent health promotion is the ‘Stoptober’, this is a campaign to try and get smokers to give up smoking for 28 days. The reason for this is that research has shown that if you give up smoking for 28 days you will be more likely to able to quit it completely. Fear arousal is the arousal of fear using various methods such as media of worrying images, to attempt to get people to change their behaviour to a certain aspect of their lifestyle. On smoking packet’s they have small quotations such as ‘smoking kills’ or ‘smoking can cause lung cancer’. This is to create a certain amount of arousal in the person by using fear, making them want to quit. The Ruiter study used fear arousal to examine the effect on attitude toward participating in early detection activities. The detection activities researched in this study by Ruiter was breast self-examination for cancer. The level of participant’s fear arousal was measured by their reaction to ten different mood adjectives-such as nervous and fear- on a 4-point scale. This was then averaged into a fear arousal index. Participant’s attitude towards monthly breast self-examination was assessed by four word pairs. The results from this were averaged into a single attitude index. The results showed there was not a statistically significant effect of manipulated fear, the study only found an effect on reported fear. Janis and Feshback also investigated the effects of fear arousal. They had a group of 9th grade freshmans. They found that the strong fear-arousal group was generally seen in a much more positive light with students finding the study interesting and easy to follow. Some even said that it should be given to all schools. However this group also had the largest dislike for the talk, with some finding the slides unpleasant. They also had the smallest net-increase in...
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