In spite of a sizable body of research on the effects of information promotions on health knowledge and health behavior, relatively little is known about how such efforts affect change (or why they do not). This paper addresses that problem by exploring the particular role that health locus of control (HLC) beliefs play in individual responses to health promotion efforts aimed at encouraging preventive health behaviors. Two field experiments are presented. The first experiment examined the extent to which HLC beliefs are related to differences in individual levels of health knowledge following the distribution of an informational booklet on health. Internals high on health value who received the information booklet demonstrated greater health knowledge three months later than did other subjects, although this difference was greater among men than among women. The second experiment explored how HLC beliefs interact with differently framed “control” messages to promote behavior change in breast self‐examination (BSE). HLC beliefs interacted with the control language of the BSE promotional message and a neutral reminder to affect subsequent BSE practice. Together, these studies suggest a more influential role for health locus of control beliefs in shaping responses to health messages than has previously been documented in field settings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Social Psychology|
|State||Published - Dec 1989|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology