An affective booster moderates the effect of gain- and loss-framed messages on behavioral intentions for colorectal cancer screening

J Behav Med. 2012 Aug;35(4):452-61. doi: 10.1007/s10865-011-9371-3. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


Previous research has demonstrated that loss-framed messages are more effective than gain-framed messages in motivating detection behaviors such as screening. The present study examined whether affective context moderates the degree to which message frame is associated with behavioral intentions to engage in colorectal cancer screening. In particular, we buttressed a framing manipulation with an "affective booster" to increase anticipated and anticipatory emotions associated with the framed messages. Consistent with previous research, we found that loss-framed messages are more effective in increasing intentions to screen. However, we found that among individuals who received gain-framed messages (but not loss-framed messages), the affective booster increased message persuasiveness. This effect on intentions was partially mediated by self-efficacy for engaging in screening. This study indicates that in the presence of emotional boosters, loss-framed messages may lose their advantage over gain-framed messages in motivating detection behaviors, and that self-efficacy may partially explain these effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Communication
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Risk
  • Self Efficacy