Recent persuasion theories and some empirical studies indicate that emotional responses can be more persuasive than cognitive evaluations under certain circumstances. The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the effects of emotions and perceived risk on health-related intentions and behavior. Ten studies which examined anticipated emotions (AdE) and 19 studies which examined anticipatory emotions (AyE) were included. AdE was moderately associated with health intention (r = 0.38, 95% CI 0.24–0.51) and behavior (r = 0.48, 95% CI 0.43–0.53). The average correlations with AyE were small (with intention r = 0.25, 95% CI 0.18–0.31; with behavior r = 0.18, 95% CI 0.11–0.23). AdE was significantly more likely to lead to ideal intentions and behavior than perceived risk, and was more likely to promote desired behaviors than AyE. AdE had a stronger effect on intentions to prevent disease compared to detect disease. Other moderators were discussed. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)