Evaluating smoking attitudes in response to different types of anti-smoking messages using a Highly Repeated Within-Person Design
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Counter-marketing of tobacco use is an important component of preventing tobacco initiation and encouraging quitting among current smokers, and has contributed to overall reduction of smoking prevalence. However, further reduction in smoking may require tailoring anti-smoking health messages for individuals and those groups among which smoking prevalence remains high in order to reduce tobacco related health disparities. This research tested a novel technique (HRWP) to explore individual differences in people's responses to various types of anti-smoking messages by identifying the "active ingredients" of messages, and assessing which types of messages are effective in changing attitudes for each individual. A sample of young adult college students, aged 18-24, was recruited to participate in 3 studies. Using the HRWP design, each subject was exposed to a representative sample of national anti-smoking messages (from CDC, FDA and Legacy), followed by a survey to assess their responses to each of the messages. Messages that were effective in increasing anti-smoking attitudes for each participant were identified using multilevel modeling. Significant individual differences in effectiveness of different types of message were found and groups of people with similar response patterns were identified. For example, while people who never smoked were responsive to messages that portray the harmful effects of one person's smoke on others, people who have ever smoked appear not to be responsive to such messages. This study demonstrates an innovative method that can be used for tailoring effective anti-smoking messages for individuals who are both smokers and nonsmokers.
- Psychology