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Risk and Efficacy as Motivators of Change: Test of the Risk Perception Attitude (RPA) Framework
Unformatted Document Text:  The RPA Framework 14 Rate of Knowledge Acquisition. We calculated the gain in knowledge per unit time spent reviewing diabetes-related information. This variable was found to be affected by the risk and efficacy manipulations in our prior study (XXX, in press). In this study, we calculated it as the ratio of the difference in knowledge (post minus pre) per unit time spent on the Web. Behavioral Intentions. Six variables were asked to measure the extent to which participants intended to engage in diabetes-prevention behaviors. These included: engaging in 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity 5 days a week; engaging in 20 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days a week; eat lots of fruits and vegetables; reduce the intake of fatty foods or not eat them at all; get a blood test at least once a year; and drink lots of fluids every-day. Responses, all measured on 7-point Likert scales, were standardized and averaged into an index (alpha = .88). Manipulation Checks Perceived Risk. Two questions measured severity of the threat (“Diabetes is a serious disease that can kill” and “If untreated, diabetes can be fatal”) and two questions measured perceived susceptibility (“Compared to most people my age, I understand that my risk of getting diabetes is…” and “The amount of risk that I feel about getting diabetes is …”). Responses to all four items, measured on 7-point Likert scales, were standardized and averaged into an index (alpha = .75) of perceived risk. T-tests revealed that those in the high-risk condition (M = 5.5, SD = 1.1) perceived greater risk (t = 12.3, p < .0001) than those in the low-risk condition (M = 3.0, SD = 1.2). Hence, this manipulation was successful. Efficacy Beliefs. Participants were asked three questions to measure their self-efficacy, defined as confidence in ability to take preventive action, and three questions were asked to measure response efficacy, defined as the belief that taking preventive action would be effective.

Authors: Rimal, Rajiv., Morrison, Dan. and Mitchell, Monique.
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The RPA Framework
14
Rate of Knowledge Acquisition. We calculated the gain in knowledge per unit time spent
reviewing diabetes-related information. This variable was found to be affected by the risk and
efficacy manipulations in our prior study (XXX, in press). In this study, we calculated it as the
ratio of the difference in knowledge (post minus pre) per unit time spent on the Web.
Behavioral
Intentions. Six variables were asked to measure the extent to which
participants intended to engage in diabetes-prevention behaviors. These included: engaging in
20 minutes of vigorous physical activity 5 days a week; engaging in 20 minutes of moderate
physical activity 5 days a week; eat lots of fruits and vegetables; reduce the intake of fatty foods
or not eat them at all; get a blood test at least once a year; and drink lots of fluids every-day.
Responses, all measured on 7-point Likert scales, were standardized and averaged into an index
(alpha = .88).
Manipulation Checks
Perceived Risk. Two questions measured severity of the threat (“Diabetes is a serious
disease that can kill” and “If untreated, diabetes can be fatal”) and two questions measured
perceived susceptibility (“Compared to most people my age, I understand that my risk of getting
diabetes is…” and “The amount of risk that I feel about getting diabetes is …”). Responses to all
four items, measured on 7-point Likert scales, were standardized and averaged into an index
(alpha = .75) of perceived risk. T-tests revealed that those in the high-risk condition (M = 5.5,
SD = 1.1) perceived greater risk (t = 12.3, p < .0001) than those in the low-risk condition (M =
3.0, SD = 1.2). Hence, this manipulation was successful.
Efficacy Beliefs. Participants were asked three questions to measure their self-efficacy,
defined as confidence in ability to take preventive action, and three questions were asked to
measure response efficacy, defined as the belief that taking preventive action would be effective.


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