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The Role of Fear Appeals in Improving Driver Safety: A Review of the Effectiveness of Fear-arousing (threat) Appeals in Road Safety Advertising

Lewis, Ioni M., Watson, Barry C., Tay, Richard S., & White, Katherine M. (2007) The Role of Fear Appeals in Improving Driver Safety: A Review of the Effectiveness of Fear-arousing (threat) Appeals in Road Safety Advertising. International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 3(2), pp. 203-222.

Abstract

This paper reviews theoretical and empirical evidence relating to the effectiveness of fear (threat) appeals in improving driver safety. The results of the review highlight the mixed and inconsistent findings that have been reported in the literature. While fear arousal appears important for attracting attention, its contribution to behaviour change appears less critical than other factors, such as perceptions of vulnerability and effective coping strategies. Furthermore, threatening appeals targeting young males (a high-risk group of concern) have traditionally relied on the portrayal of physical harm. However, the available evidence questions the relevance, and hence effectiveness, of strong physical threats with this group. Consequently, further research is required to determine the optimum way to utilise fear in road safety advertising, as well as the type of threat(s) most effective with different road users.

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ID Code: 8050
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Road safety advertising, fear appeals, driver safety
ISSN: 1555 7855
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Applied Sociology Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Joseph D. Cautilli
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 08 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:41

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