Effects of fear and specificity of recommendation upon attitudes and behavior

Howard Leventhal, Robert Singer, Susan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deals with the effects of (a) level of fear and (b) specific plans for action vs. general recommendations on attitudes toward tetanus inoculations and actually getting tetanus shots. The arousal of fear resulted in more favorable attitudes toward inoculation and the expression of stronger intentions to get shots. However, actually getting shots occurred significantly more often for Ss receiving a specific plan for action. Although action was unaffected by fear level some level of arousal was necessary for action to occur. A specific plan was not sufficient for action to appear. Although the 2 dependent measures were affected by different independent variables, those people getting shots were also more favorable toward doing so. The results are compared with other studies on fear arousal and actions, and speculations were presented on the role of specific action plans in the translation of attitudes into actions. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1965

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • ATTITUDE, FEAR VS SPECIFIC PLAN OF ACTION EFFECTS IN
  • ATTITUDES &
  • ATTITUDES TOWARD GETTING SHOTS, VS PLAN OF ACTION
  • FEAR, &
  • OPINIONS

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