Effects of video and print narratives on communicating health risks: An experiment

Open Access
Li, Ruobing
Graduate Program:
Media Studies
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 05, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Fuyuan Shen, Thesis Advisor
  • narrative
  • exemplar
  • health communication
  • modality
This study examined the effects of health message types and media channels on communicating the risks of tanning among college students. A 2x2 factorial experiment (N = 165) was conducted to compare the persuasiveness of two message types (narrative vs. exemplar) and two media channels (video vs. print). Results indicate that narratives presented in video had a stronger effect on individuals, generating less favorable attitudes toward tanning and greater intentions to stop using tanning beds than did the print narrative. Both video and print narratives led to a higher level of engagement and transportation than exemplar messages. Messages presented by video were perceived to be more persuasive than print messages, regardless of the message type. These findings provided partial support for the hypotheses. Implications and limitations of the study as well as the directions for future studies will be discussed.