Title page for ETD etd-04222008-145825

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Corus, Canan
Author's Email Address ccorus@vt.edu
URN etd-04222008-145825
Title Emotional Certainty and Health Communications
Degree PhD
Department Marketing
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brinberg, David L. Committee Chair
Nakamoto, Kent Committee Member
Ozanne, Julie L. Committee Member
Weaver, Kimberlee D. Committee Member
  • Emotions
  • Information Processing
  • Consumer Health
Date of Defense 2008-04-09
Availability unrestricted
At risk individuals tend to avoid information that might perturb their sense of security. I propose certainty appraisal as an important emotional dimension that affects health message processing and persuasion. Specifically, I suggest that emotions high on certainty appraisal can provide confidence to cope with the insecurity instigated by threatening health communications.

Five studies are proposed to demonstrate the interaction of certainty appraisal with two health message characteristics: vulnerability to threat and response efficacy. Studies 1-3 provide evidence that when a health threat is highly self-relevant uncertainty related emotions impede processing whereas certainty related emotions facilitate it. Studies 4-5 show that individuals who are feeling uncertain prefer to attend a high efficacy message as it offers reassurance via useful recommendations.

The findings extend affect regulation theories to involve emotional uncertainty as a state to be “repaired” by avoiding further deterioration or striving for restoration.

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