Messages aimed at changing eating habits of the elderly are often not persuasive. In two studies, we tested the hypothesis that the persuasiveness of messages regarding the effects of meat consumption on health versus well-being would depend on their factual versus prefactual (‘if … then … ’) framing. Different groups of elderly participants were presented with different versions of a message describing the possible negative effects of excessive meat consumption. Results of a preliminary study showed that messages about the effects of meat consumption on health and well-being induced a different regulatory concern in recipients, safety and growth concerns respectively. Results of the two main studies then showed that messages about health/safety had stronger effects on participants' involvement, attitudes, and intentions to change eating behaviour when framed in factual rather than prefactual terms. Conversely, messages about well-being/growth had stronger effects when framed in prefactual rather than factual terms. Discussion focuses on how the appropriate framing of messages about meat consumption can effectively promote changes in eating habits of elderly people.
- Message framing