Predicting the Acceptance and Rejection of Emotion-based Anti-Speeding Messages: The role of attitudinal beliefs and personal involvement
Limited evidence is available relating to the effectiveness of positive emotional appeals in road safety. Moreover, relative to measures of message acceptance, little is known about message rejection as an outcome measure of message effectiveness. The effectiveness of a range of negative and positive emotional appeals addressing speeding were examined with drivers (N = 551). Hierarchical regressions examined the extent that measures of drivers? pre-existing attitudes and perceived involvement, as well as gender and age, predicted the acceptance and rejection of the appeals. The results indicated that measures of pre-existing attitudes and involvement were consistently significant predictors of acceptance and, to a lesser extent, rejection of all the appeals. However, these factors explained more variance in acceptance (i.e., 36.2% to 53.5%) rather than rejection (i.e., 3.7% to 10.9%). This finding highlights that, relative to measures of acceptance, less is known about the influences of message rejection. The research also highlights the importance of identifying the pre-existing attitudes and involvement levels of the intended target audience for the purpose of better targeting advertising countermeasures according to these key predictors of message effectiveness.