Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

1-2016

Publication Source

Media Psychology

Volume

19

Issue

4

Start Page

614

Last Page

637

DOI

10.1080/15213269.2015.1090907

Abstract

This study investigated how content and context features of headlines drive selective exposure when choosing between headlines of a monthly e-mail health newsletter in a naturalistic setting over a period of nine months. Study participants received a monthly e-mail newsletter and could freely open it and click any headline to read the accompanying article. In each e-mail newsletter, nine headlines competed with each other for selection. Textual and visual information of the headlines was content-analyzed, and clickstream data on the headlines were collected automatically. The results showed that headlines invited more frequent audience selections when they provided efficacy-signaling information in an imperative voice, when they used a moderate number of negative emotion words, when they presented negative thumbnail images while mentioning cancer or other diseases, and when they were placed higher in position.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Media Psychology in January 2016, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15213269.2015.1090907.

Keywords

selective exposure, message effects, health communication, internet, news

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Date Posted: 19 July 2021

This document has been peer reviewed.