Promoting public health messages: Should we move beyond fear-evoking appeals in road safety?

Lewis, Ioni M., Watson, Barry C., White, Katherine M., & Tay, Richard S. (2007) Promoting public health messages: Should we move beyond fear-evoking appeals in road safety? Qualitative Health Research, 17(1), pp. 61-74.

View at publisher


Road traffic injury represents one of the most significant global public health issues of the 21st century. It remains a contentious public and empirical issue the extent that negative, fear-evoking messages represent effective persuasive strategies. Despite the contention, negative, fear-based appeals represent a frequently utilized approach in Australasian road safety advertising. The authors conducted a series of focus groups with 16 licensed drivers to explore the potential utility of appeals to emotions other than fear. More specifically, we sought to explore the utility of positive emotional appeals such as those incorporating humor. The themes emerging from the qualitative analysis suggested that both emotion and the provision of strategies represent key components contributing to the overall persuasiveness of a road safety advertisement. Overall, it appears there is support for researchers and health advertising practitioners to provide further attention to the role that positive emotional appeals may play in future campaigns.

Impact and interest:

40 citations in Scopus
31 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

2,353 since deposited on 16 Feb 2007
244 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 5140
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: public health advertising, road safety advertising, role of emotion, positive, IHBI, emotion, response efficacy, persuasion
DOI: 10.1177/1049732306296395
ISSN: 1552-7557
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
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 Sage Publications
Copyright Statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in Qualitative Health Research 17(1):pp. 61-74. © <SAGE Publications Ltd
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:34

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page