Appealing to fear: A meta-analysis of fear appeal effectiveness and theories.

  title={Appealing to fear: A meta-analysis of fear appeal effectiveness and theories.},
  author={Melanie B. Tannenbaum and Justin Hepler and Rick S. Zimmerman and Lindsey Saul and Samantha Jacobs and Kristina Wilson and Dolores Albarrac{\'i}n},
  journal={Psychological bulletin},
  volume={141 6},
Fear appeals are a polarizing issue, with proponents confident in their efficacy and opponents confident that they backfire. We present the results of a comprehensive meta-analysis investigating fear appeals' effectiveness for influencing attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. We tested predictions from a large number of theories, the majority of which have never been tested meta-analytically until now. Studies were included if they contained a treatment group exposed to a fear appeal, a valid… 

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