The extended parallel process model: illuminating the gaps in research

Health Educ Behav. 2012 Aug;39(4):455-73. doi: 10.1177/1090198111418108. Epub 2011 Oct 14.


This article examines constructs, propositions, and assumptions of the extended parallel process model (EPPM). Review of the EPPM literature reveals that its theoretical concepts are thoroughly developed, but the theory lacks consistency in operational definitions of some of its constructs. Out of the 12 propositions of the EPPM, a few have not been tested explicitly and not a single one received unequivocal empirical support. This article proposes alternative operationalization for some of the constructs and examines some assumptions of this theory, such as additive relationship between the constructs, the role of time and issue of thresholds, and disregard for the existing state of the audience. Finally, the role of the EPPM as a potential foundation for a general theory of negative emotional appeals is addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Fear
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Motivation
  • Research Design*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Efficacy