While health behavior theories conceptualize risk perception as a major factor motivating protective action against risk, empirical support for this widely-assumed proposition has been inconclusive. Given the inherent issue concerning the delay of desired outcomes in most health behaviors, this research proposes the congruence between temporal frame and individuals’ trait time orientation (i.e., consideration of future consequences; CFC) as an important moderator in the risk perception-behavioral intention relationship. Findings from two experiments concerning messages promoting adequate sleep (N = 227; Study 1) and plastic bottle recycling (N = 223; Study 2) showed that the relationship between risk perception and behavioral intention was significantly stronger when temporal frames and CFC were more congruent (i.e., tailored). Nuanced differences in the moderating effects of frame-CFC congruence were observed depending on how risk perception was operationalized (i.e., susceptibility only, severity only, or combination of the two). Implications for health communication message design are discussed.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences