Intrinsic Characteristics of Health-Related Fear Appeals from Chinese Print OTC Ads: Implications for Fear Message Construction

Vivian C. Sheer, Ling Chen


Focusing on intrinsic message characteristics, a textual analysis of unique print ads of over-the-counter medicine (OTC) from China suggests cross-cultural validity of the four-component structure — severity, susceptibility, response efficacy, and personal efficacy — for fear-appeal construction. The content and message framing reflect the Chinese cultural values of auspiciousness, family harmony, relational co-dependence, and “face,” and also explain the additional feature of “other efficacy” findings. An extended fear message model is proposed to incorporate the targeting approach of self-efficacy, other efficacy, value sensitive threats, and susceptibility portrayal.

Full Text: