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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 7 Once they logged on, participants were told that the main purpose of the study was to determine how people with different risk levels reacted to information about diabetes. They were told that they would be asked questions about their behaviors and family history regarding diabetes, and that, based on their responses, the computer would calculate their risk to diabetes. Participants were first asked 10 questions to determine their prior knowledge about diabetes. They were then asked questions regarding family health history, their personal perceived risk of developing diabetes, and diabetes-related behaviors, particularly the frequency with which they exercised, ate healthy foods, etc. After completing this questionnaire, participants were instructed to click an icon that would submit their responses for analysis by a computer program. A message on the screen informed participants that the computer would calculate the “Diabetes Risk Factor Score (DRFS),” an index that “has been found to be a highly sophisticated and accurate indicator of your risk to diabetes.” They were further told that this index took into account their family history, behaviors, diet, height, weight, gender, and race and that it has been found to be “highly accurate.” After participants hit the “submit” button, they encountered a 10-second delay, supposedly to allow the computer to calculate their risk. At this point, a random number generator embedded in the software program assigned the participant to one of the four experimental conditions – high risk, high efficacy; high risk, low efficacy; low risk, high efficacy; or low risk, low efficacy. (To obtain equal cell sizes, we blocked off one or more conditions as they began to fill up.) The next screen showed the risk manipulation. Half the participants were told that, based on their responses, their risk to diabetes had been calculated as high, whereas the other half were told that their risk was low. After the risk manipulation, participants were shown another screen

Authors: Rimal, Rajiv., Morrison, Dan. and Mitchell, Monique.
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The RPA Framework
7
Once they logged on, participants were told that the main purpose of the study was to
determine how people with different risk levels reacted to information about diabetes. They
were told that they would be asked questions about their behaviors and family history regarding
diabetes, and that, based on their responses, the computer would calculate their risk to diabetes.
Participants were first asked 10 questions to determine their prior knowledge about
diabetes. They were then asked questions regarding family health history, their personal
perceived risk of developing diabetes, and diabetes-related behaviors, particularly the frequency
with which they exercised, ate healthy foods, etc.
After completing this questionnaire, participants were instructed to click an icon that
would submit their responses for analysis by a computer program. A message on the screen
informed participants that the computer would calculate the “Diabetes Risk Factor Score
(DRFS),” an index that “has been found to be a highly sophisticated and accurate indicator of
your risk to diabetes.” They were further told that this index took into account their family
history, behaviors, diet, height, weight, gender, and race and that it has been found to be “highly
accurate.” After participants hit the “submit” button, they encountered a 10-second delay,
supposedly to allow the computer to calculate their risk.
At this point, a random number generator embedded in the software program assigned the
participant to one of the four experimental conditions – high risk, high efficacy; high risk, low
efficacy; low risk, high efficacy; or low risk, low efficacy. (To obtain equal cell sizes, we
blocked off one or more conditions as they began to fill up.)
The next screen showed the risk manipulation. Half the participants were told that, based
on their responses, their risk to diabetes had been calculated as high, whereas the other half were
told that their risk was low. After the risk manipulation, participants were shown another screen


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