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Defensive Processing of Alcohol-Related Social Norms Messages by College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Defensive Processing of Social Messages 18 threatening message (see H3). The results in Table 2 are consistent with this hypothesis. Heavy drinkers rated the second (more threatening) statement to be less accurate than the first (less threatening) statement (M=2.51 and M=3.17, respectively). A subsequent paired-sample t-test showed that the difference between these two mean evaluation scores was statistically significant among heavy drinkers, t(54)=2.08, p=.04, d=.37, but not among non- and moderate drinkers (who judged the second statement as more accurate than the first). Effects of Campaign Exposure on Message Evaluation and Misperceptions of Drinking Norm Our two remaining hypotheses (H4 and H5) focus on the possible effects of exposure to a social norms campaign on judgments and misperceptions regarding drinking norms among non-, moderate, and heavy drinkers. Both hypotheses predict that (a) non-drinkers will not be affected by the campaign, (b) moderate drinkers will respond positively to the campaign, and (c) heavy drinkers will present more polarized judgments and misperceptions, either as a result of psychological reactance or self-persuasion. The analysis in Table 3 compares the effect of campaign exposure on judgments of message accuracy within each drinking group (see H4). First, as hypothesized, there were no significant differences in the average accuracy evaluation score on both statements between non-drinkers who were exposed to the campaign and those who were not. Second, contrary to our hypothesis, there were no statistically significant differences in the average accuracy evaluation score between moderate drinkers who were exposed to the campaign and those who were not, though those who were exposed had a higher average evaluation score on both statements than those who were not exposed (a pattern which is consistent with the hypothesis). Finally, this analysis seems to support our prediction that heavy drinkers who are exposed to the campaign will evaluate its messages as less accurate than those who were not exposed, though this difference was statistically significant only in the case of the second (more threatening) statement.

Authors: Yanovitzky, Itzhak., Stewart, Lea. and Lederman, Linda.
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Defensive Processing of Social Messages 18
threatening message (see H3). The results in Table 2 are consistent with this hypothesis. Heavy
drinkers rated the second (more threatening) statement to be less accurate than the first (less
threatening) statement (M=2.51 and M=3.17, respectively). A subsequent paired-sample t-test
showed that the difference between these two mean evaluation scores was statistically
significant among heavy drinkers, t(54)=2.08, p=.04, d=.37, but not among non- and moderate
drinkers (who judged the second statement as more accurate than the first).
Effects of Campaign Exposure on Message Evaluation and Misperceptions of Drinking Norm
Our two remaining hypotheses (H4 and H5) focus on the possible effects of exposure to
a social norms campaign on judgments and misperceptions regarding drinking norms among
non-, moderate, and heavy drinkers. Both hypotheses predict that (a) non-drinkers will not be
affected by the campaign, (b) moderate drinkers will respond positively to the campaign, and
(c) heavy drinkers will present more polarized judgments and misperceptions, either as a result
of psychological reactance or self-persuasion. The analysis in Table 3 compares the effect of
campaign exposure on judgments of message accuracy within each drinking group (see H4).
First, as hypothesized, there were no significant differences in the average accuracy evaluation
score on both statements between non-drinkers who were exposed to the campaign and those
who were not. Second, contrary to our hypothesis, there were no statistically significant
differences in the average accuracy evaluation score between moderate drinkers who were
exposed to the campaign and those who were not, though those who were exposed had a
higher average evaluation score on both statements than those who were not exposed (a pattern
which is consistent with the hypothesis). Finally, this analysis seems to support our prediction
that heavy drinkers who are exposed to the campaign will evaluate its messages as less accurate
than those who were not exposed, though this difference was statistically significant only in the
case of the second (more threatening) statement.


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