The persuasive effects of framing messages on fruit and vegetable consumption according to regulatory focus theory

Dijkstra, A., Rothman, A. & Pietersma, S., 2011, In : Psychology & Health. 26, 8, p. 1036-1048 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Copy link to clipboard


  • The persuasive effects of framing messages on fruit and vegetable consumption

    Final publisher's version, 217 KB, PDF document

    Request copy


According to Regulatory Focus theory (RFT), outcomes in persuasive messages can be framed in four different ways, as gains, non-gains, losses or non-losses. In study 1, the persuasiveness of all four frames was compared and the presence/absence effect that was expected on the basis of the feature-positive effect was verified: Statements about present outcomes (gain, loss) were more persuasive than those about absent outcomes (non-gain, non-loss). However, this study failed to support the prediction that a gain-framed message would be more persuasive than a loss-framed message when promoting a prevention behaviour. Study 2 was designed to examine the latter finding. It was hypothesised that the threat posed by the loss-framed message in study 1 was too low to elicit a defensive reaction. Therefore, in study 2, the personal relevance of the gain and the loss framed message was manipulated. Consistent with predictions, the gain-framed message was more persuasive than the loss-framed message, but only when the message was personalised to increase self-relevance. Moreover, the effect was due to a significant drop in persuasion in the loss condition, probably caused by a defensive reaction. These data shed a new light on the findings of past framing studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1048
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • message framing, regulatory focus theory, personalisation, defensiveness, HEALTH-RISK INFORMATION, LOSS-FRAMED MESSAGES, SELF-AFFIRMATION, BEHAVIOR, LOSSES, GAINS, FIT

ID: 2245231