Fatalism and the Processing of Fear Appeals Among Chinese: An Exploratory Study in the Context of Lung Cancer Prevention




Tong, Xing

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Public health practitioners and researchers often use persuasive messages to inform, convince, and motivate people to practice healthy behaviors or abandon unhealthy ones. For this reason, designing culturally appropriate health messages which are both theory-based and audience-centered is a question that deserves more investigation. This dissertation research represents the first effort to examine the influence of fatalistic beliefs in the contexts of lung cancer prevention messages targeting the Chinese population. Guided by Witte’s (1992) Elaborated Paralleled Processing Model (EPPM), this study investigated the effects of two dimensions of fatalism, negative interpretation and active coping, on Chinese people's processing of lung cancer prevention messages. Moreover, this investigation tested whether these two dimensions of fatalism impacted the message outcomes through changing their perceived threat or perceived efficacy. Lastly, this research examined if fatalism moderated the relationship between individuals' perceived threat, or perceived efficacy, and the message outcome variables.



Communication, Chinese, Coping, Fatalism, Fear Appeals, Lung cancer, Message Effects