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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Jun;9(6):2121-33. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9062121. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Gain-framed messages do not motivate sun protection: a meta-analytic review of randomized trials comparing gain-framed and loss-framed appeals for promoting skin cancer prevention.

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Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, 2040 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


Persuading people to undertake actions to prevent skin cancer is an important public health challenge. A number of studies have compared the effectiveness of gain-framed and loss-framed appeals in this domain, often expecting gain-framed appeals to be more persuasive. A meta-analytic review (k = 33, N = 4,168), however, finds no significant difference in the persuasiveness of gain- and loss-framed appeals for encouraging skin cancer prevention. This conclusion is unaffected by differences in the specific protective action advocated or by differences in the kind of outcomes invoked. But the results offer an intimation that men might be more susceptible to framing variations in this domain--with loss-framed appeals potentially having a persuasive advantage.


gain-framed; loss-framed; message framing; meta-analysis; persuasive messages; skin cancer prevention

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