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Health Psychol. 2003 Mar;22(2):199-209.

Effects of appearance-based interventions on sun protection intentions and self-reported behaviors.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


Two appearance-based interventions designed to increase sun protection intentions and behaviors were evaluated. Sixty-eight college students in Experiment 1 and 76 beachgoers in Experiment 2 were randomly assigned to receive or not receive a photoaging (premature wrinkling and age spots) information intervention and, separately, to receive or not receive a novel ultraviolet (UV) photo intervention that makes the negative-appearance consequences of UV exposure more salient. Both experiments indicated that the UV photo intervention significantly increased intentions to use sunscreen in the future. A follow-up conducted with the beach sample indicated that UV photo information also produced greater protective behaviors for incidental sun exposure and that the combination of UV photo and photoaging information resulted in substantially lower reported sunbathing.

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