Talking about health messages: The relationship between perceived complexity, processing time, and conversational intentions

Donné, L., Hoeks, J. & Jansen, C. J. M., 2016, In : Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics. 5, 2, p. 126–144 19 p.

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  • Talking about health messages The relationship between perceive

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Interpersonal communication has been shown to influence health campaign outcomes, but little is known about ways in which conversations can actually be elicited. In this correlational study, we tested the assumption that perceived complexity of the message can be a predictor of interpersonal communication. Forty participants were exposed to six different health messages varying in perceived complexity. The results show that the more the message was perceived as complex, the longer it took to understand it. Longer message processing times, in turn, were associated with higher intentions to talk, but only about messages that were of low personal relevance. When messages had a high personal relevance, longer processing times were associated with lower intentions to talk. Apparently, if a message is clearly relevant, longer processing due to perceived complexity is detrimental to the occurrence of interpersonal communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126–144
Number of pages19
JournalDutch Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • interpersonal communication, message processing, health campaign, health communication

ID: 39639628