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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 6 This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the university where it was conducted. Design A 2 (perceived risk: high or low) x 2 (efficacy beliefs: high or low) between-subjects experiment was conducted by informing participants that their risk of getting diabetes was either high or low and that there was either a lot or little they could do to prevent the disease. After these manipulations, participants were asked about their information-seeking and behavioral intentions. They were then allowed to browse a number of diabetes-related web sites, after which they were tested on their knowledge about the disease. Participants Participants were students recruited from the participant pool maintained in the Department of Communication Studies at a large public university in the southwest. Participants (N = 134) received extra credit for their participation. A majority of the participants were White (68%), and other ethnicities in the sample included Hispanics (10%), African Americans (2%), Asians (18%), Native Americans (2%) and undeclared (1%). Females comprised 70 percent of the sample, and the average age of the sample was 21.6 years (SD = 5.7). Procedure Participants reported to a room equipped with laptop computers containing the study manipulations that were administered through web pages. Participants first read and signed the informed consent form. They were then instructed to log on to a specific web site and to follow the directions given on the computer screen. The experiment was largely self-administered and participants were allowed to work at their own pace.

Authors: Rimal, Rajiv., Morrison, Dan. and Mitchell, Monique.
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background image
The RPA Framework
6
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the university where it was
conducted.
Design
A 2 (perceived risk: high or low) x 2 (efficacy beliefs: high or low) between-subjects
experiment was conducted by informing participants that their risk of getting diabetes was either
high or low and that there was either a lot or little they could do to prevent the disease. After
these manipulations, participants were asked about their information-seeking and behavioral
intentions. They were then allowed to browse a number of diabetes-related web sites, after
which they were tested on their knowledge about the disease.
Participants
Participants were students recruited from the participant pool maintained in the
Department of Communication Studies at a large public university in the southwest. Participants
(N = 134) received extra credit for their participation. A majority of the participants were White
(68%), and other ethnicities in the sample included Hispanics (10%), African Americans (2%),
Asians (18%), Native Americans (2%) and undeclared (1%). Females comprised 70 percent of
the sample, and the average age of the sample was 21.6 years (SD = 5.7).
Procedure
Participants reported to a room equipped with laptop computers containing the study
manipulations that were administered through web pages. Participants first read and signed the
informed consent form. They were then instructed to log on to a specific web site and to follow
the directions given on the computer screen. The experiment was largely self-administered and
participants were allowed to work at their own pace.


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