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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 8 that manipulated efficacy – half the participants were provided a high-efficacy message and the other half were shown a low-efficacy message. The subsequent screen contained the outcome measures that asked questions about participants’ intentions to seek information about diabetes as well as their intentions to engage in self-protective behaviors. Questions to perform manipulation checks were also asked at this point. After participants answered the various questions, they were shown a screen that contained links to nine diabetes-related web sites. Titles of these sites were segregated into two groups, one labeled “Introductory Sites,” which contained six links, and another labeled “In- Depth Sites,” which contained three links. The introductory site contained basic information that was easy to understand for the lay person and was relatively brief. The in-depth site contained information that was lengthy, complex and difficult to understand, containing medical jargon and an abundance of statistical information. All the information on the sites was accurate, compiled from material disseminated by the American Diabetes Association. At the bottom of each site, a link was provided to allow participants to quit reviewing the web sites and to return to the experiment. Participants were not provided any link that would allow them to “leave” the study. Unbeknownst to the participants, we also kept track of the amount of time that they spent reviewing the web sites. When participants clicked on the link to indicate that they had finished reviewing the web sites, they were then asked to contact the research assistant who handed them a battery of questions to test their knowledge from the web sites. These questions were answered on paper, which prevented participants consulting the web sites for their answers. Participants were then completely debriefed about the experiment, its intentions, and the necessity of assigning the risk score. It was made clear to the participants that the risk score was

Authors: Rimal, Rajiv., Morrison, Dan. and Mitchell, Monique.
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The RPA Framework
8
that manipulated efficacy – half the participants were provided a high-efficacy message and the
other half were shown a low-efficacy message. The subsequent screen contained the outcome
measures that asked questions about participants’ intentions to seek information about diabetes
as well as their intentions to engage in self-protective behaviors. Questions to perform
manipulation checks were also asked at this point.
After participants answered the various questions, they were shown a screen that
contained links to nine diabetes-related web sites. Titles of these sites were segregated into two
groups, one labeled “Introductory Sites,” which contained six links, and another labeled “In-
Depth Sites,” which contained three links. The introductory site contained basic information that
was easy to understand for the lay person and was relatively brief. The in-depth site contained
information that was lengthy, complex and difficult to understand, containing medical jargon and
an abundance of statistical information. All the information on the sites was accurate, compiled
from material disseminated by the American Diabetes Association. At the bottom of each site, a
link was provided to allow participants to quit reviewing the web sites and to return to the
experiment. Participants were not provided any link that would allow them to “leave” the study.
Unbeknownst to the participants, we also kept track of the amount of time that they spent
reviewing the web sites.
When participants clicked on the link to indicate that they had finished reviewing the web
sites, they were then asked to contact the research assistant who handed them a battery of
questions to test their knowledge from the web sites. These questions were answered on paper,
which prevented participants consulting the web sites for their answers.
Participants were then completely debriefed about the experiment, its intentions, and the
necessity of assigning the risk score. It was made clear to the participants that the risk score was


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