Alternative communication strategies to *influence risky behavior: Addressing the AIDS pandemic

Timothy Blair Greenlee, University of Rhode Island


Social policy in the field of marketing has been defined as an intervention that makes a material contribution to the goals of society (Andreasen 1991). However, a review of the consumer behavior and social policy literatures reveals that the combination of consumer behavior and social policy has failed to become a sustained area of research interest (Andreasen 1991). Thus, social policy intervention programs, such as those designed to modify behaviors that increase the risks of contracting HIV and AIDS, may fail to materialize. In an effort to develop more effective risk-reduction communications, the current research combines consumer behavior and social policy approaches into a single project that synthesizes the tenets of expected utility theory and Kahneman and Tversky's (1979) prospect theory, with the transtheoretical model of behavior change and involvement to better understand and predict the consumer decision making process under conditions of risk.^ Whereas both expected utility theory and prospect theory offer their own contribution to designing effective risk reduction communications, a major factor consistently overlooked is the individual's state of readiness to change the behavior in question. Prochaska and DiClemente (1983) propose the transtheoretical model of change as a method of incorporating behavioral readiness states. Their concept of behavior change can be described temporally as a progression through five specific stages including precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.^ The study reported investigates the impact of message framing, the mediation of involvement, and the applicability of the transtheoretical model of behavior change on communication effectiveness. An analysis of covariation (ANCOVA) is conducted to determine if there are significant differences in attitudes and behavioral intentions across groups. Results from experiment one provide support for an interaction effect between message framing and involvement. Results from experiment two provide support for a main effect for stage of readiness to change behavior. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing|Psychology, Behavioral|Speech Communication

Recommended Citation

Timothy Blair Greenlee, "Alternative communication strategies to *influence risky behavior: Addressing the AIDS pandemic" (1997). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9805233.