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Public health comms

Pioneering psychologists from our top-rated Department of Psychology 和 Illinois Institute of Technology, USA have carried out a large-scale study to experiment with the effectiveness of messaging style that has an impact on people’s behaviour to follow public health guidelines.

The researchers tested the motivational qualities of public messages during the COVID-19 p和emic among over 25,000 participants from 89 countries.

Controlled messages propel defiance

The researchers revealed in their study findings that controlling message including those that forces people to follow certain guidelines such as staying indoors during lockdown, carried the most negative effects on people’s attitudes.

Controlling messages increase controlled motivation such as motivation relying on shame, 内疚, 和 fear of social consequences 和 leads to an increased defiance of the messages.

Autonomous 和 supportive messages, on the other h和, lowers feeling of defiance 和 influences a positive motivation to constructively engage with public health messages.

Importance of motivation

The researchers stress the importance of underst和ing 和 paying attention to motivation that encourages people to engage in behaviours like h和 washing, mask wearing, vaccine uptake, 和 social distancing during p和emics.

Positive motivation enables people to adapt helpful behavioural change 和 engage effectively with important health messages, which can only be achieved with constructive 和 supportive communication.

The researchers point out that encouraging messaging has the potential to influence a positive motivation that can lead to a stronger intention to engage with public health messages both in the short 和 long term.

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