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Health Psychol. 1991;10(1):25-33.

Perceived susceptibility and self-protective behavior: a field experiment to encourage home radon testing.

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Department of Human Ecology, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.


Tested in a field experiment (N = 647) the hypothesis that perceptions of personal susceptibility are important in decisions to test one's home for radioactive radon gas. Experimental group subjects received a personal telephone call to tell them they lived in a high-risk area and a personal letter to reinforce the telephone message. After the intervention, experimental subjects were significantly more likely than minimal-treatment subjects to acknowledge the possibility of high radon levels in their homes. Perceptions of susceptibility and illness severity were significantly correlated with orders of radon test kits and with testing intentions. Nevertheless, there were no differences between groups in test orders or intentions. Results are discussed in terms of the difficulty of getting people to acknowledge susceptibility and the factors other than risk perceptions that influence self-protective behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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