Positive versus negative framing of a hypothetical infant immunization: the influence of involvement

Health Educ Behav. 2000 Feb;27(1):82-95. doi: 10.1177/109019810002700108.


Framing studies dealing with health messages show mixed results, although a tendency in favor of negative framing. Involvement has been hypothesized to account for these conflicting results. The authors selected a realistic issue (immunization of infants) deemed high or low involving depending on the respondent's circumstances: women with an infant or who were pregnant or intending to get pregnant in the next 12 months were deemed to be high involved; women in none of these categories were deemed to be low involved. A convenience sample of adult women was presented with a hypothetical "new" immunization that protected infants against respiratory complaints such as bronchitis and pneumonia Side effects (the common flu) were framed positively (90% chance of no side effects) or negatively (10% chance of side effects). The authors found positive framing to be superior for low-involved respondents, but there was no framing effect for high-involved respondents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Decision Making*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Immunization* / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Educational*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Probability
  • Surveys and Questionnaires