there is a question about an article. 

Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

A practitioner’s guide to persuasion: An overview of 15 selected persuasion
theories, models and frameworks

Kenzie A. Cameron *

Division of General Internal Medicine and Center for Communication in Healthcare at the Institute for Healthcare Studies,

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


Article history:

Received 29 July 2008

Received in revised form 3 December 2008

Accepted 5 December 2008




Health communication


Objective: To provide a brief overview of 15 selected persuasion theories and models, and to present

examples of their use in health communication research.

Results: The theories are categorized as message effects models, attitude–behavior approaches,

cognitive processing theories and models, consistency theories, inoculation theory, and functional


Conclusions: As it is often the intent of a practitioner to shape, reinforce, or change a patient’s behavior,

familiarity with theories of persuasion may lead to the development of novel communication

approaches with existing patients.

Practice Implications: This article serves as an introductory primer to theories of persuasion with

applications to health communication research. Understanding key constructs and general formulations

of persuasive theories may allow practitioners to employ useful theoretical frameworks when

interacting with patients.

� 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Patient Education and Counseling

j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w . e l s e v i e r . c o m / l o c a t e / p a t e d u c o u

1. Introduction

At an interest group session on the theoretical bases of
communication in healthcare at the International Conference in
Communication in Healthcare (ICCH) in 2007, a practitioner noted
that he was aware that the use of theory in health communication,
whether in clinical practice or research, was touted as desirable.
However, he countered, what references were available for a busy
practitioner to obtain a concise overview of theories

and models

that may be of use in understanding patient behavior, behavior
change, or lack of behavior change? This question became the
foundation of this manuscript.

Theory in health communication research is used to under-
stand, explain and predict health beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and
behaviors of individuals, groups, and mass audiences. Persuasive
theories are one subset of theories applicable to health commu-
nication; they can be applied at many levels including intraperso-
nal, interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication.
Knowledge of this subset of available theories can assist
practitioners in better understanding their interactions with
patients as well as patient behavior. Entire textbooks are written,

* Tel.: +1 312 503 3910; fax: +1 312 503 2755.

E-mail address:


0738-3991/$ – see front matter � 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

and courses taught on the topic of persuasion and persuasive
theory, but practitioners seldom have the opportunity to engage in
such deep study and reflection. This article serves to fill that lacuna
by providing a selective overview of persuasion theories and
concepts, and referring interested readers to other sources for
more extensive explanation and commentaries of these and other
theories [1–5].

There are almost as many different definitions of persuasion or
persuasive communication as there are persuasion scholars. A
common theme throughout these definitions is that ‘‘persuasion
involves a conscious effort at influencing the thoughts or actions of
a receiver’’ [6]. One definition of persuasive communication
attractive in its inclusiveness is Miller’s [7]: ‘‘any message that is
intended to shape, reinforce, or change the responses of another, or

others.’’ Persuasive communication, then, can be viewed as
comprising three processes: response shaping, response reinfor-
cing, and response changing.

Response shaping relates to the creation of responses to a new
stimulus: prior to exposure to a new stimulus, an attitude toward
the stimulus cannot yet exist. Information provision about a new
product or an unfamiliar event can constitute response shaping.
Practitioners may provide information about a disease, condition,
or test unknown to the patient. Patients may be aware of the
existence of specific screening tests, but unaware of associated
risks and benefits. Response reinforcing occurs when an individual
already holds an attitude or is enacting a behavior advocated by the

Table 1
Persuasive theories, models, and frameworks applicable to the patient-provider


Theoretical category Theories discussed

Message effects models Message learning approach:

‘‘Yale Model of Persuasion’’

Fear appeals:

Protection Motivation Theory

Extended Parallel Process Model

Language Expectancy Theory

Attitude–behavior approaches Theory of Reasoned Action/Theory of Planned


Triandis Model of Interpersonal Behavior

Cognitive processing theories

and models

Elaboration Likelihood Model

Heuristic-Systematic Model

Social Judgment Theory

Consistency theories Balance Theory

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Probabilogical Models

Inoculation theory Inoculation Theory

Functional approaches Functional Approaches

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317310

persuader. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, fill the
function of being response reinforcing: they exist to reinforce a
decision (e.g., sobriety) [8]. Encouraging medication adherence can
be response reinforcing: a provider may reinforce accurate and
consistent patient behavior. Response changing is the most
recognized aspect of persuasion: that of value, belief, attitude,
intention or behavior change. A critical factor across all three
processes is that persuasion is constrained to intentional behavior.
This manuscript provides a necessarily brief overview of 15
theories or perspectives oft identified by their development or
scholarly description as persuasive theories: those identifying
constructs and variables intended to shape, reinforce, or change
the response of others. Table 1 presents the theories discussed in
this manuscript.

2. Persuasion theories applicable to the patient–provider

Although the response shaping, reinforcing, and changing
processes are elucidative when explaining persuasion, individual
theories may apply to more than one process. For example, a
theory may be useful both for a practitioner encouraging a patient
to continue performing a desired health behavior (response
reinforcing) and also for a practitioner attempting to change a
patient’s health behavior (response changing). Therefore, the
theories discussed are not delineated based on the three
persuasive processes, but rather via often used categories of
message effects models, attitude–behavior approaches, cognitive
processing theories and models, consistency theories, inoculation
theory, and functional approaches [3,6,8–10]. Following a concise
overview of each theory, examples of health contexts in which the
selected theories have been applied are presented.

2.1. Message effects theories and models

Message effects theories seek to predict ‘‘the format and
content of messages that produce effects on cognitive, attitudinal,
and emotional outcomes (Capella, 2006, p. S265)’’ [10]. Some
theories (e.g., Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)) are considered
‘‘value expectancy models,’’ which assume a fairly rational
approach to decision making. These models propose that
individuals engage in a cost-benefit analysis, taking into account

the severity of a potential risk, and selecting an action to maximize
the expected outcome [11–14].

2.1.1. The message learning approach

Although Aristotle identified the persuasive aspects of source,
audience, and words presented (message) in the 4th century B.C.,
the origins of scientific study of persuasion are attributed to Carl
Hovland, who with his colleagues developed the message learning
approach, referred to as ‘‘The Yale Model of Persuasion’’ [15].
Hovland, Janis and Kelley identified four underlying processes
derived from studies as to how individuals learn [3,15]. A
persuasive message must both gain a receiver’s attention and be
comprehended by the receiver. A receiver must yield to the message,
which occurs if the message raises questions in the receiver’s mind
and identifies incentives for attitude change. Finally, a receiver
must retain the information in the message for persuasion to occur.
These four processes are identified as mediating processes in the
message learning approach. The independent variables preceding
these processes are the source (the originator of the message),
message (what was said), channel (or medium through which the
message was delivered), and receiver or recipient (the person or
persons to whom the message was said). Potential outcomes, or
‘‘consequent communication effects,’’ include belief, attitude, and
behavior change [3,6,15]. This approach was never formalized as a
theory; however, it is of great historical relevance as the persuasive
effects of source, message, channel, and receiver are identified in
multiple theories. Interested readers are referred to other sources
for more extensive discussion of this model [2,3,6,16–18].

2.1.2. Fear appeals

Janis and Feshbach activated scientific interest in using fear (or
‘‘fear appeals’’) to promote behavioral change in 1953 [19].
Multiple theorists attempted to explain individuals’ reactions to
threatening messages; their explanations fit in three categories:
drive theories, parallel response models, and subjective expected
utility models [20]. As the validity of drive models [15,19,21,22]
has been largely discounted by quantitative reviews [23,24], they
are not presented here. Subjective expected utility models, such as
Protection Motivation Theory, suggest that individuals will chose
an action or behavior most likely to lead to a reward and avoid a
punishment [20,25,26]. Parallel response models such as that
proposed by Leventhal [27], and later augmented by Witte [28,29],
posit that both an emotional response and a desire to eliminate the
danger are trigged upon exposure to a fear appeal. Protection Motivation Theory. Protection Motivation The-
ory explores the cognitive processes of threat appraisal and coping
appraisal, which combine to form one’s protection motivation
[30,31]. PMT originally proposed perceived noxiousness (harm),
perceived susceptibility, and perceived efficacy of the behavioral
response as three integral components of an effective fear appeal.
The efficacy component was later specified to include both
response efficacy (i.e., is the behavior advocated going to reduce
the threat?) and self-efficacy (i.e., is the person able to enact the
advocated behavior?) [31,32]. According to PMT, one evaluates a
threat (threat-appraisal process), and one’s ability and alternatives
to cope with the threat (coping appraisal process); these combined
appraisals form a motivation to protect oneself against the
emergent risk. Protection motivation is hypothesized to reach
its peak when the threat is both harmful and severe, one feels at
risk, the behavior advocated is seen as effective and achievable, to
engage in a maladaptive behavior results in little benefit, and one
perceives few if any barriers to engaging in the advocated behavior
or adaptive response.

PMT has been applied to health behaviors such as cancer
screenings, exercise and healthy eating, condom use, medical

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317 311

adherence, and safety and environmental issues [33–35]. Despite
its broad use, criticisms remain, including critiques noting the
concept of fear itself is not explicated in the model [20] or is
effectively excluded [28], and that PMT assumes rational
information processing, not accounting for habitual behaviors or
social and environmental factors. Extended Parallel Process Model. Witte’s Extended Parallel
Process Model (EPPM), which expanded Leventhal’s earlier work
[27,36], proposed that a fear appeal message initiates two
appraisals. The first is the threat appraisal where one assesses
both perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of the (health)
threat (e.g., consequences of unprotected sex). If perceived
susceptibility and severity are low, the EPPM proposes that one
will cease to process the message. If perceived susceptibility and
severity are high, one is expected to proceed to the efficacy
appraisal. Here one assesses her self-efficacy and the efficacy of the
response being offered. One may consider if she perceives herself
able to engage in safer sex by using condoms (self-efficacy) and if
she believes that condoms will protect her from sexually
transmitted infections and/or pregnancy (response efficacy). A
high level of efficacy coupled with a high level of threat is predicted
to lead to self-protective action. For a fear appeal to be successful it
must instill susceptibility and severity in the receiver, as well as
self-efficacy and response efficacy regarding the proposed
behavior change.

Initial tests of the EPPM focused on primarily response changing
processes in the contexts of HIV/AIDS prevention [29] and
promotion of bicycle safety helmets [37]. Subsequent research
assessed the influence of fear appeals in breast-self examination
[38], HIV/AIDS prevention [39,40], influenza vaccination [41],
radon testing [42], and prevention of firearm injury and death [43],
among others.

Meta-analyses of fear appeal research suggest no single model
is well supported by the research, although fear is generally
correlated with attitude and behavior change [23,24,44]. Despite
these criticisms, both PMT and the EPPM are widely used to
evaluate health interventions, and to identify modifiable factors for
future intervention design.

2.1.3. Language Expectancy Theory

Language Expectancy Theory (LET) identifies language as being
a ‘‘rule governed system’’ through which individuals develop
expectations and preferences for what is considered ‘‘appropriate’’
usage in varying situations [45]. Expectations are largely a function
of sociological and cultural norms; preferences tend to be a
function of societal standards and cultural values [45,46].

LET proposes that persuasion can be facilitated or inhibited
when expectations are violated [45]. Positive violations, facilitat-
ing persuasion, can occur if: [1] a communicator enacts a behavior
perceived by the receiver as ‘‘better’’ or ‘‘more preferred’’ than
expected, or [2] a source initially evaluated negatively behaves in
accordance with societal norms, cultural values, or situational
demands [45–47]. Negative violations, inhibiting persuasion, occur
when the communicator employs language or message strategies
considered to be socially unacceptable; the receiver may
experience no attitude change, or may change in the opposite
direction of that advocated [45–47].

LET has been applied to examine gender differences related to
patient compliance and satisfaction with a physician [48,49], and
the effects of sun-safety messages for children [50]. Criticisms of
the theory include concerns over precise definitions of ‘‘expecta-
tions,’’ and call for a priori specification of expectations in
experimental research. Additional limitations question cultural
generalizability; the fact that much empirical testing (with notable
exceptions) has been conducted in laboratory settings; the effects

of expectancies over time; and how expectancies relate to
sequential messages (e.g., repeated visits to and discussions with
a provider about the need to develop and maintain an exercise
program) [46]. A theoretical extension of LET, Reinforcement
Expectancy Theory [51–53], focuses on the issue of expectancies,
and how they may evolve, in such sequential interactions.

2.2. Attitude–behavior approaches

These approaches attempt to predict a behavior from an
attitude, or attitudes. Both research and common sense recognize
that the attitude–behavior correlation is not perfect; attitudes are
one of many variables affecting individual behavior. Entire books
have been written about attitudes [4,5]; due to space limitations
only three theories are presented here.

2.2.1. Theory of Reasoned Action/Theory of Planned Behavior

The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) [54,55] and the Theory of
Planned Behavior (TPB) [56,57] have enjoyed frequent use as
organizing frameworks for numerous attitude and behavior change
studies. The TRA aims to explain volitional behaviors, and identifies
one’s behavioral intention as the immediate precursor and best
determinant of behavior. Behavioral intention is composed of one’s
attitudes toward the behavior and subjective norms. Attitudes are a
function of the evaluation of the belief one holds about the behavior
and the strength with which each belief is held [54,55]. Subjective
norms are composed of normative beliefs, or what is believed to be
the expectation of important others (e.g., colleagues, family, etc.),
and one’s motivation to comply with these others. Individuals weigh
their own attitudes against their perceptions of others attitudes; if
these attitudes are in discord, they decide how to behave based upon
costs and benefits of ascribing more weight to either one’s own
attitudes or those of others.

The TPB is an extension of the TRA, to allow the theory a wider
application by adding perceived behavioral control at the same
level as attitudes and subjective norms. Perceived behavioral
control comes from Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy, and refers to
one’s perceived ability to perform a given behavior [58–60].
Control beliefs, or the perception of the existence of facilitating or
impeding factors to performance of the behavior, and perceived
power, the perception of the impact of each factor in facilitating or
inhibiting the behavior, determine one’s perceived behavioral

A comparison of the two theories indicated that the addition of
perceived behavioral control (in TPB), significantly increased the
amount of variance explained [61,62]. The TRA and the TPB have
enjoyed recurring use in health, with studies assessing condom use
[63–65], smoking behavior [66,67], drug use [68,69], exercise
behavior [70–72], and cancer screening [73].

2.2.2. Triandis model of interpersonal behavior

Triandis’ model is similar to the TRA and TPB; it proposes that
attitudes and social normative considerations determine beha-
vioral intentions [4,74,75]. However, Triandis separated one’s
attitude into (1) affect toward the act and (2) value of perceived
consequences of the act (similar to behavioral beliefs in the TRA)
and included a ‘‘habit’’ construct, to represent those automatic
actions that ‘‘occur without self-instruction’’ (p. 204) [75]. Triandis
proposed that the probability of a behavior would be dependent on
habits and behavioral intentions. Initial tests of the model
discovered that it was no more consistent in predicting intentions
and behaviors than the TRA [4,76], although later tests reported the
Triandis model accounted for a greater percentage of the variance
of exercise intentions [77]. This model continues to be employed in
health communication research [78–80], although less frequently
than the TRA or TPB.

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317312

2.3. Cognitive processing theories and models

Cognitive process models moved from focusing on ‘‘variable-
oriented’’ approaches to persuasion, to ‘‘process-oriented’’
approaches [81], seeking to identify the variables leading to
persuasion, and to specify the process by which such message
aspects influence one’s attitudes. These models recognize that pre-
existing attitudes may alter reception of a message and provide a
framework to predict and explain how a single message may be
processed among multiple receivers.

2.3.1. Elaboration Likelihood Model

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) was formulated to
explain contradictory research findings, specifically the effects of
messages on attitude change [82,83]. The literature provided
explanations for persuasive effects, yet dissention remained as to
the routes through which persuasive messages traveled. The ELM
proposed that receivers ‘‘elaborate’’ (i.e., engage in issue-relevant
thinking) to varying degrees upon receipt of a message. The ELM
posits two processing routes leading to attitude change [82,84,85].
Central processing occurs when one is motivated and able to
carefully evaluate the arguments and to scrutinize the quality of
messages; the message receiver engages in systematic thinking. In
peripheral processing, elaboration is fairly low and the receiver
employs a cognitive shortcut to evaluate the message (e.g., is the
source of the message authoritative?) [82,84,86].

Despite frequent use, critics question the efficacy of the ELM,
particularly regarding what is identified as ‘‘single-channel
processing’’ presented in theoretical descriptions of the ELM.
Readers are referred to a series of articles published in Commu-
nication Monographs, for elucidation of the criticisms against the
model, and the model originators’ responses [87–90]. Regardless,
the ELM remains widely used in health communication research.
Studies have hypothesized and tested participant responses to
ELM-based mammography messages [91], explored the effects of
direct-to-consumer prescription advertising on the elderly [92],
and proposed key message elements for inclusion in nutrition
information [93]. Other researchers have suggested using elements
of the ELM (e.g., issue relevance) in conjunction with existing
theories (e.g., TPB) to better predict and explain health behaviors
and events [71,94].

2.3.2. Heuristic-Systematic Model

A second cognitive processing model is the Heuristic-Systema-
tic Model (HSM) [95], which differs from the ELM by explicitly
recognizing dual processing. As opposed to viewing information
processing on a continuum, as the ELM seems to suggest (e.g.,
endpoints of peripheral and central processing), the HSM proposes
that these processes occur jointly, or in parallel [95–97].
Systematic processing in the HSM is similar to central processing:
one scrutinizes a message, judging the arguments presented to be
strong or weak, and gives thoughtful consideration to all
information before (or while) making a decision. Heuristic
processing draws upon simple decision cues, often termed ‘‘rules
of thumb,’’ and occurs when individuals lack motivation or
cognitive resources. This processing occurs at a superficial level,
allowing the receiver to form judgments based on cues such as
credibility, attractiveness, and message length. Heuristic proces-
sing may be employed when using heuristics leads to attitudes one
can hold with sufficient confidence [98].

The HSM has been applied to risk-related issues such as eating
contaminated fish [99] and carbon dioxide [100], where findings
indicated that the induction of fear resulted in systematic
processing of information. Other scholars utilize the HSM in
studies of organ donation [101,102] and in providing risk
information in genetic counseling interactions [103].

There have been attempts to extend the HSM to determine
predictors of the type of processing. Both the ELM and HSM specify
that motivation and ability are key predictors of message
processing; the HSM’s ‘‘sufficiency principle’’ states that active
processing will occur up until the point where one believes she has
reached the necessary level of depth and breadth of understanding
[97]. Focus on the predictors of processing within a risk setting
found that the difference in the level of understanding one has
about a risk and the level of understanding needed to make a
decision about the risk was related to one’s use of systematic or
heuristic processing [99,104].

2.3.3. Social Judgment Theory

Social Judgment Theory (SJT) focuses on perceptions of how
much a message agrees or disagrees with one’s current attitude
[105,106] proposing that one’s attitude acts as an anchor, from
which messages are interpreted or judged. Three latitudes,
together forming a continuum, are proposed: the latitude of
acceptance includes the most acceptable position or attitude to an
individual, plus other attitudes also judged as acceptable. Latitudes
of non-commitment contain those positions discrepant from one’s
attitude, but not so much so as to be rejected. Latitudes of rejection
are those positions one deems unacceptable, or wrong.

At the moment of message perception, one compares the
message to one’s current attitude (i.e., the anchor), which, by
definition, is located at the exact center of the latitude of
acceptance. If a message falls within the latitudes of acceptance
or non-commitment, then the greater the discrepancy (the
distance between one’s attitude and the message), the greater
the predicted persuasion. A message too discrepant from the
receiver’s attitude will fall within the latitude of rejection: no
persuasion will occur. If attitudes change or are reinforced due to a
message, then one’s latitudes adjust accordingly, the new attitude
becomes the anchor.

Assimilation occurs when a receiver perceives a message to be
very close to her own attitude; contrast occurs when the message
is perceived to be very discrepant from her attitude. Assimilation
can reduce the persuasive effect of a message: one may perceive a
message as not that different from her own attitudes, causing little
need to change. Contrast effects cause an exaggeration of the
perceived differences between one’s attitude and the message;
further reducing the likelihood of persuasion. If one is highly ego-
involved (i.e., the issue is very important) then one’s latitude of
acceptance is likely to be narrow, and one’s latitude of rejection is
likely to be wide [106,107].

SJT has been called an ‘‘incomplete’’ theory [9] focusing on the
position advocated in the message and how clearly the message
pinpoints the position, while other possible variables (e.g., argument
strength) are ignored. For some SJT has fallen out of favor [9]; others
appreciate its discussion of assimilation and contrast effects and the
focus on receivers’ attitudes in the persuasion process [108]. SJT has
been applied to clinical judgments regarding patients’ coronary
heart disease risk [109]; the need for restraint and/or seclusion of
psychiatric patients [110]; and team recommendations for dis-
charge housing of stroke patients [111–113]. Recent work notes the
need to educate providers to better understand influences on these
individual and team decisions.

2.4. Consistency theories

Consistency theories suggest that when we have thoughts or
actions inconsistent with our attitudes or behavior, we are
motivated to change as inconsistency is an uncomfortable state.
Consistency theories have been applied less in health commu-
nication than other persuasive theories; however, increased
interest in their potential application has arisen.

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317 313

2.4.1. Balance Theory

Balance Theory focuses on the triadic relationship involving
two people (the perceiver, P), the perceiver’s attitude toward
another (O, the other individual) and their attitudes toward an
object (X, the attitudinal object) [114,115]. The resulting triad can
be balanced or unbalanced. If all three possible relationships (PO;
PX; OX) are positive, or one is positive and two are negative, the
triad is balanced. If all three relationships are negative, or one is
negative and two are positive, an unbalanced triad results, often
motivating one to alter one of the three relationships [114,115].

In Balance Theory an attraction effect describes those triads
with a positive relationship between the two people (P and O),
deemed to be more ‘‘pleasant’’ than a negative relationship. An
unbalanced triad therefore could be perceived as pleasant if the
individuals had a positive relationship. The agreement effect arises
when both individuals rate the attitudinal object similarly (either
negatively or positively); some unbalanced triads could be
perceived as pleasant if both P and O agreed in their like or
dislike of the attitudinal object (X). Balance Theory predicts that
balanced triads are more pleasant than unbalanced ones, but
cannot explain the proposed effects of attraction or agreement

Balance Theory is constrained to the triadic format (e.g., P, O, X),
and is unable to account for complex beliefs leading to one’s
attitude toward an object; it can neither account for the variability
of belief or attitude strength, nor can it account for message
content (i.e., that not all persuasive messages are created equal).
The underlying components of Balance Theory are instructive; its
lack of current use is likely due to its oversimplification and
numerous limitations in prediction and explanation [16].

2.4.2. Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance [116] focuses on the
relationships among cognitive elements, or ‘‘cognitions,’’ which
include beliefs, opinions, attitudes, or knowledge [9]. Cognitions
may be consonant (i.e., consistent), dissonant (inconsistent), or
irrelevant to each other. If a cognitive inconsistency of sufficient
magnitude is present, then an individual will perceive psycholo-
gical discomfort, leading to an attempt to restore cognitive balance
by reducing or eliminating the inconsistency [8,116,117]. Unlike
other consistency theories, Dissonance Theory was proposed to
understand and explain how individuals deal with internal
psychological conflicts following a decision [8,116].

The magnitude of dissonance determines one’s motivation to
reduce it. Magnitude is determined by both the importance of the
dissonant cognitions and the number, or proportion, of consonant
to dissonant cognitions [117]. One can reduce dissonance by: (1)
changing an element to make it more consonant; (2) adding
additional consonant cognitions, changing the proportion of
consonant to dissonant cognitions; or (3) changing the importance
of the cognitions [9,116–118]. When reducing dissonance, an
individual will choose the easiest route to change. We often seek
out information consonant with our current attitudes, and avoid
exposure to contradictory information, a process termed selective
exposure [119].

Modifications and extensions designed to increase predictive
power have been proposed [120–126] however, the best support
exists for the original theoretical version [117]. An action-based
model of cognitive dissonance has been advanced as a means to
understand why cognitive inconsistency arouses the aversive
motivational state and why this arousal leads to behavioral and
cognitive changes [117].

The motivational interviewing approach, used often in health
care, includes a strategy where the interviewer attempts to create
dissonance within the patient. This dissonance is then used to
encourage the patient to consider both pros and cons of behavior

change [127]. Dissonance Theory remains a viable theory to
explore patient’s beliefs, opinions, attitudes, knowledge, and
behaviors and has been used to study topics such as condom
purchases [128], pain reduction [129], and eating disorders [130].

2.4.3. Probabilogical models

Probabilogical models [131–136], based on the rules of formal
logic and probability theory, predict beliefs regarding a syllogism’s
conclusion based on mathematical probability. A belief syllogism is
a set of three statements, including two premises that lead to a
logical conclusion. For example:

First premise (A): Medication X causes serious side effects.
Second premise (B): Medications that cause serious side effects
are dangerous.
Conclusion (C): Medication X is dangerous.

This syllogism specifies how an individual’s beliefs ought to
relate if they follow the logic of mathematical probability [4]. If one
believes completely in the premises, then the expectation is that
the identified conclusion will follow. Probabilogical models
recognize that a person often does not hold an ‘‘all or none’’
belief in the premises of a syllogism. Rather, beliefs can be gauged
through subjective probabilities: one’s judgment of the probability
that each of the premises is true. Probabilogical models, developed
by McGuire [131–134] and Wyer [135,136] focus on how beliefs,
and one’s conclusion, should change when other probabilistically
related beliefs are formed, eliminated, introduced, modified, or
made salient [3,4]. When a message causes a change in the
perception of truth of the premise, or adds additional premises,
corresponding changes to the conclusion are expected. A criticism
is that the model is unable to explicitly account for how other
variables (e.g., source, contextual factors) may affect relationships
in the model [4]. Although not yet applied in health communica-
tion, the probabilogical model remains a basic model in persuasion

2.5. Inoculation Theory

Unlike other theories and models, which focus on identifying
constructs and processes leading to persuasion, Inoculation Theory
explains resistance to persuasive attempts. Using the biological
analogy for which it is named, Inoculation Theory postulates that
people can be activated to build up resistance to future attacks on
their beliefs and attitudes by being exposed to weakened versions
of the attack messages [137].

McGuire proposed that ‘‘cultural truisms,’’ or those attitudes
and beliefs widely shared and seldom attacked would be most
vulnerable to attack as people would be unprepared to defend
them [137,138]. To effectively inoculate against belief or attitude
change, the first step is to warn the receiver that a future attack is
possible. This forewarning induces a threat, which motivates the
receiver to defend himself against the future attack. The next step
is to provide an attack message containing weak arguments (in the
original studies, these weak arguments refuted the identified
vulnerable cultural truisms) [137–139]. The final step requires that
the message receiver defend his original attitude. The inoculation
procedure works best when the receiver actively (i.e., generating
one’s own refutations to the weak attack message) as opposed to
passively defends his original attitude (i.e., reading prepared
refutational statements). Following this inoculation process, the
receiver is ready to resist future strong persuasive attacks and is
prepared to defend his original attitudes.

Health contexts in which inoculation interventions have been
tested, with varying success, include adolescent smoking initiation
[140,141], and adolescent attitudes and behaviors regarding

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317314

alcohol consumption [142]. Self-esteem has been identified as a
key variable in the inoculation process [141]. Current health-
related research using Inoculation Theory is investigating the need
for ‘‘booster’’ treatments, and identifying optimal timing of
inoculation [140,141,143].

2.6. Functional approaches

In the 1950s and 1960s, theorists focused attention on the
function, or motives that attitudes served for those who held them.
The assumption of these Functional Theories of Attitudes was that
an individual has reasons for the attitudes he holds [144–147].
Individuals can hold the same or similar attitudes for very different
reasons; understanding why these attitudes are held provides
insight into how they can be reinforced or changed. Persuasive
messages targeting the relevant attitudinal function will be more
effective than those that overlook or ignore the function

Katz initially proposed that attitudes could serve a knowledge
function, allowing one to simplify and organize the world and
environment in a meaningful way; a utilitarian function, also called
an instrumental, or adjustive function, helping to maximize rewards
and minimize punishments; an ego-defensive function, protecting
one’s self-concept from internal and external threats; and a value-
expressive function, which proposed that through attitudes one
could express personal values and other critical aspects of one’s
self-concept.[144] Smith et al. [145] also proposed an object-
appraisal function, which has been interpreted as a combination of
utilitarian and knowledge functions: providing a framework for
people to know how to relate to events and objects with which
they come into contact. A social adjustment function was
hypothesized to facilitate, maintain, and/or disrupt relationships
with others [4,145].

Research using the functional approach initially was limited,
mainly due to the lack of adequate measurement, a deficit filled
through Herek’s work on attitudes toward stigmatized groups and
Shavitt’s classifications of open-ended responses [148,151–153].
Varying taxonomies of functions have been presented and
explored [4]; research also has explored the links between aspects
of personality (e.g., self-monitoring) and attitude functions [154–

Attitudinal functions related to seat belt use [157], bicycle
helmet use [158], safer sexual practices [159], and sexually
transmitted diseases have been studied [160]. This research has
been less focused on one-on-one interactions (e.g., between a
provider and patient); yet understanding why a patient holds a
particular attitude could be an initial step in assisting that patient
in altering an unhealthy behavior.

3. Discussion and conclusion

3.1. Discussion

As it is often the intent of a practitioner to shape, reinforce, or
change a patient’s behavior, familiarity with theories of persuasion
may lead to the development of novel communication approaches
with patients. An understanding of fear appeals recognizes that if a
patient does not believe that a health risk affects her, or has serious
consequences, then she is unlikely to consider or exhibit behavior
change. Further, if she perceives a high level of threat, but is
unconvinced of the efficacy of the action offered to her (e.g., she
does not believe a vaccination will protect her), then behavior
change is unlikely to occur. LET reminds us that expectancies may
arise in a patient–provider interaction either interpersonally (e.g.,
the provider exceeds, meets, or falls short of the patient’s
expectations), or in relationship to actions in which the provider

may be asking the patient to engage (e.g., the patient perceives that
the provider is unfairly ordering him to change his exercise habits).
Comprehending how expectancy violations may affect the
patient–provider relationship may assist the provider in advising
his patients.

Attitude–behavior approaches (e.g., TRA, TPB) give the practi-
tioner a framework through which to comprehend why a patient’s
attitudes and behaviors may be inconsistent: a patient may express
the desire to lose weight, yet never report a change in dietary or
exercise habits. Recognizing that attitudes only partially explain
intentions and overt behavior may remind the practitioner to
explore previously unexplored barriers and facilitators to behavior
change, for example, discussing family and cultural norms regarding
diet and exercise, and identifying who prepares the patient’s meals.

A general attentiveness to cognitive processing models may
prompt a practitioner to consider a patient’s previously held
attitudes. The ELM and HSM recognize the crucial importance of
motivation and ability and offer explanations regarding a patient’s
processing of health information. The ELM and HSM can be applied
across all three response processes: response shaping may occur if
new information is presented; response reinforcement if the
message bolsters existing attitudes; and response changing if, due
to scrutiny or heuristic cues, the receiver modifies her attitudes.
Consistency theories remind the provider that merely offering new
information regarding health risks may not cause attitude change:
the patient may instead choose to reduce resulting dissonance.

Inoculation theory may be most useful for those practitioners
whose patient population includes children and young adults.
Practitioners could assist parents in engaging their children in
discussions about the risks of certain behaviors (e.g., drug use)
resisting what could be tempting situations in the future. A cursory
understanding of functional theories reminds us of the importance
of discovering why a patient holds a particular attitude before any
attempts are made to change it: identifying the reasons for the
attitude may assist the provider in devising ways to help the
patient alter unhealthy behavior.

3.2. Conclusion

The existence of a myriad of other theories relevant to the
healthcare context (e.g., interpersonal or organizational theories)
cannot be argued; due to space constraints only selected theories
could be elucidated here. Indubitably, a reader will miss a favorite
theory in the 15 presented here. The intention of this manuscript
was not to provide a comprehensive overview of all theories
relevant to health behavior, but to focus on selected persuasion
theories applicable to the patient–provider context. By concen-
trating on theories relevant to response shaping, response
reinforcing, and response changing processes, both well known
(ELM, HSM) and other often overlooked persuasion theories (e.g.,
consistency theories) were presented. Certainly, the mere use of a
theoretical framework does not guarantee a desired or healthy
outcome; theories often do not provide specific guidance regarding
how to accomplish a goal, for example, how to best communicate
breast cancer risk [161]. However, an awareness of the theories
presented herein can assist the practitioner in understanding a
patient’s attitude and behavior change, or lack thereof.

3.3. Practice implications

This article identifies 15 selected theories relevant to persuasive
processes within health communication. Often these theories have
been used as frameworks for the development of large-scale
interventions; however, even a rudimentary knowledge of these
theories may allow a practitioner to better assess and comprehend
patient–provider encounters and related outcomes.

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317 315


I gratefully acknowledge the insights and suggestions provided
by Michael E. Roloff, Franklin J. Boster, Shelly Campo, Michael S.
Wolf and the reviewers. The author has indicated no potential
conflict of interest.


[1] Glanz K, Rimer BK. Theory at a glance: a guide for health promotion practice.
2nd ed. National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health, U.S. Depart-
ment of Health and Human Services NIH Pub. No. 97-3896. Washington, DC:
NIH; 2005.

[2] Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors. The persuasion handbook: developments in theory
and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002.

[3] Petty RE, Cacioppo JT. Attitudes and persuasion: classic and contemporary
approaches. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Company; 1981.

[4] Eagly AH, Chaiken S. The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich; 1993.

[5] Albarracin D, Johnson BT, Zanna MP, editors. Handbook of attitudes. Mahwah,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 2005.

[6] Bettinghaus EP, Cody MJ. Persuasive communication, 5th ed., Fort Worth, TX:
Harcourt Brace; 1994.

[7] Miller GR. On being persuaded: some basic distinctions. In: Roloff ME, Miller
GR, editors. Persuasion: new directions in theory and research. Beverly Hills,
CA: Sage; 1980. p. 11–28.

[8] Stiff J. Persuasive communication. New York: Guilford Press; 1994.
[9] O’Keefe DJ. Persuasion: theory and research. Newbury Park: Sage; 1990.

[10] Cappella JN. Integrating message effects and behavior change theories:
organizing comments and unanswered questions. J Commun 2006;S6:

[11] Cleary P. Why people take precautions against health risks. In: Weinstein ND,
editor. Taking care: understanding and encouraging self-protective behavior.
New York: Cambridge University Press; 1987. p. 119–49.

[12] Cameron KA, DeJoy DM. The persuasive functions of warnings: theory and
models. In: Wogalter MS, editor. Handbook of warnings. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 2006. p. 301–12.

[13] DeJoy DM. Theoretical models of health behavior and workplace self-pro-
tective behavior. J Saf Res 1996;27:61–72.

[14] Janz NK, Champion VL, Strecher VJ. The health belief model. In: Glanz K,
Lewis FM, Rimer BK, editors. Health behavior and health education: theory,
research, and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2003. p. 45–66.

[15] Hovland CI, Janis IL, Kelley HH. Communication and persuasion. New Haven,
CT: Yale University Press; 1953.

[16] Benoit W, Benoit P. Persuasive messages: the process of influence. Malden,
MA: Blackwell; 2008.

[17] Cialdini RB. 4th ed., Influence science and practice, Boston: Allyn and Bacon;

[18] Gass RH, Seiter JS. Persuasion, social influence, and compliance gaining, 3rd
ed., Boston: Allyn and Bacon; 2006.

[19] Janis IL, Feshbach S. Effects of fear-arousing communications. J Abnorm Soc
Psychol 1953;48:78–92.

[20] Dillard JP. Rethinking the study of fear appeals: an emotional perspective.
Commun Theory 1994;4:295–323.

[21] McGuire WJ. Personality and attitude change: an information-processing
theory. In: Greenwald AG, Brock TC, Ostrom TM, editors. Psychological
foundations of attitudes. New York: Academic Press; 1968. p. 171–96.

[22] Miller GR. Studies on the use of fear appeals: a summary and analysis. Cent
States Speech J 1963;24:117–25.

[23] Boster FJ, Mongeau PA. Fear-arousing persuasive messages. In: Bostrom R,
editor. Communication yearbook. Newbury Park, CA: Sage; 1984. p. 330–75.

[24] Mongeau PA. Another look at fear arousing messages. In: Allen M, Preiss R,
editors. Persuasion: advances through meta-analysis. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton
Press; 1998. p. 53–68.

[25] Dillard JP, Anderson JW. The role of fear in persuasion. Psychol Mark

[26] Hale JL, Dillard JP. Fear appeals in health promotion campaigns: too much, too
little, or just right? In: Maibach E, Parrott RL, editors. Designing health
messages approaches from communication theory and public health prac-
tice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; 1995. p. 65–80.

[27] Leventhal H. Fear appeals and persuasion: the differentiation of a motiva-
tional construct. Am J Public Health 1971;61:1205–24.

[28] Witte K. Putting the fear back into fear appeals: the extended parallel process
model. Commun Monogr 1992;59:329–49.

[29] Witte K. Fear control and danger control: a test of the extended parallel
process model. Commun Monogr 1994;61:113–34.

[30] Rogers RW. A protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude
change. J Psychol 1975;91:93–114.

[31] Rogers RW. Cognitive and physiological processes in fear appeals and attitude
change: a revised theory of protection motivation. In: Cacioppo J, Petty R,
editors. Social psychophysiology: a sourcebook. New York: The Guilford
Press; 1983. p. 153–76.

[32] Beck KH, Frankel A. A conceptualization of threat communications and
protective health behaviour. Soc Psych Q 1981;44:204–17.

[33] Floyd DL, Prentice-Dunn S, Rogers RW. A meta-analysis of research on
protection motivation theory. J Appl Soc Psychol 2000;30:407–29.

[34] Milne S, Orbell S, Sheeran P. Combining motivational and volitional
interventions to promote exercise participation: protection motivation
theory and implementation intentions. Br J Health Psychol 2002;7:163–

[35] Milne S, Sheeran P, Orbell S. Prediction and intervention in health-related
behavior: a meta-analytic review of protection motivation theory. J Appl Soc
Psychol 2000;30:106–43.

[36] Leventhal H, Berkowitz L. Findings and theory in the study of fear commu-
nications. Advances in experimental social psychology. New York: Academic
Press; 1970. pp. 119–186.

[37] Witte K, Stokols D, Ituarte P, Schneider M. Testing the health belief model in
a field study to promote bicycle safety helmets. Commun Res 1993;20:564–

[38] Kline KN, Mattson M. Breast self-examination pamphlets: a content analysis
grounded in fear appeal research. Health Commun 2000;12:1–21.

[39] Cameron KA, Witte K, Lapinski MK, Nzyuko S. Preventing HIV transmission
along the Trans-Africa highway in Kenya: using persuasive message theory in
formative education. Int Q Community Health Educ 1999;18:356.

[40] Witte K, Cameron KA, Lapinski MK, Nzyuko S. A theoretically based evalua-
tion of HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns along the Trans-Africa highway in
Kenya. J Health Commun 1998;3:345–63.

[41] Cameron KA, Rintamaki LS, Kamanda-Kosseh M, Noskin GA, Baker DW,
Makoul G. Using theoretical constructs to identify key issues for targeted
message design: African American seniors’ perceptions about influenza and
the influenza vaccination. Health Commun; in press.

[42] Witte K, Berkowitz JM, Lillie JM, Cameron KA, Lapinski MK, Liu W. Radon
awareness and reduction campaigns for African Americans: a theoretically
based evaluation. Health Educ Behav 1998;25:284–303.

[43] Roberto AJ, Meyer G, Johnson AJ, Atkin CA. Using the Extended parallel
process model to prevent firearm injury and death: field experiment results
of a video-based intervention. J Commun 2000;50:157–75.

[44] Nabi RL. Discrete emotions and persuasion. In: Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors. The
persuasion handbook: developments in theory and practice. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage; 2002. p. 289–308.

[45] Burgoon M, Miller GR. An expectancy interpretation of language and
persuasion. In: Giles H, St. Clair RN, editors. Recent advances in language
communication and social psychology. London: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1985. p.

[46] Burgoon M, Denning VP, Roberts L. Language expectancy theory. In: Dillard
JP, Pfau M, editors. The persuasion handbook: developments in theory and
practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002. p. 117–36.

[47] Burgoon M. Language expectancy theory: elaboration, explication, and
extension. In: Berger CR, Burgoon M, editors. Communication and social
influence processes. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press; 1995.
p. 29–52.

[48] Burgoon M, Birk TS, Hall JR. Compliance and satisfaction with physician–
patient communication: an expectancy theory interpretation of gender
differences. Hum Commun Res 1991;18:177–208.

[49] Burgoon M, Burgoon JK. Compliance-gaining and health care. In: Dillard JP,
editor. Seeking compliance: the production of interpersonal influence mes-
sages. Scottsdale, AZ: Gorsuch Scarisbrick; 1990. p. 161–88.

[50] Buller DB, Burgoon M, Hall JR, Levine N, Taylor AM, Beach BH, Melcher C,
Buller MK, Bowen SL, Hunsaker FG, Bergen A. Using language intensity to
increase the success of a family intervention to protect children from ultra-
violet radiation: predictions from language expectancy theory. Prev Med

[51] Klingle RS. Bringing time info physician compliance gaining research: toward
a reinforcement expectancy theory of strategy effectiveness. Health Commun

[52] Klingle RS, Burgoon M. Patient compliance and satisfaction with physician
influence attempts: a reinforcement expectancy approach to compliance-
gaining over time. Commun Res 1995;22:148–87.

[53] Klingle RS. Physician communication as a motivational tool for long-term
patient compliance: reinforcement expectancy theory. Commun Stud

[54] Ajzen I, Fishbein M. Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall; 1980.

[55] Fishbein M, Ajzen I. Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction
to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley; 1975.

[56] Ajzen I, Kuhl J, Beckman J. From intentions to actions: a theory of planned
behavior. Action-control: from cognition to behavior. Heidelberg: Springer;
1985. pp. 11–39.

[57] Ajzen I. The theory of planned behavior. Organ Beh Hum Decis Process

[58] Bandura A. The assessment and predictive generality of self-percepts of
efficacy. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 1982;13:195–9.

[59] Bandura A. A social foundation of thought and action: a social cognitive
theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall; 1986.

[60] Bandura A. Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.
Psychol Rev 1977;84:191–215.

[61] Madden TJ, Ellen PS, Ajzen I. A comparison of the theory of planned behavior
and the theory of reasoned action. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 1992;18:3–9.

[62] Godin G, Kok G. The theory of planned behavior: a review of its applications to
health-related behaviors. Am J Health Promot 1996;11:87–98.

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317316

[63] Albarracin D, Johnson B, Fishbein M, Muellerleile P. Theories of reasoned
action and planned behavior as models of condom use: a meta-analysis.
Psychol Bull 2001;127:719–33.

[64] Greene K, Hale J, Rubin D. A test of the theory of reasoned action in the context
of condom use and AIDS. Commun Rep 1997;10:21–33.

[65] Munoz-Silva A, Sanchez-Garcia M, Nunes C, Martins A. Gender differences in
condom use prediction with theory of reasoned action and planned beha-
viour: the role of self-efficacy and control. Routledge 2007;1177–81.

[66] Godin G, Valois P, Lepage L, Desharnais R. Predictors of smoking behaviour:
an application of Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour. Br J Addict

[67] Guo Q, Johnson C, Unger J, Lee L, Xie B, Chou C, Palmer PH, Sun P, Gallaher P,
Pentz M. Utility of the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned
behavior for predicting Chinese adolescent smoking. Addict Behav

[68] Connor M, McMillan B. Interaction effects in the theory of planned behavior:
studying cannabis use. Br J Soc Psychol 1999;38:195–222.

[69] Orbell D, Blair C, Sherlock K, Connor M. The theory of planned behavior and
ecstasy use: roles for habit and perceived control over taking versus obtain-
ing substances. J Appl Soc Psychol 2001;31:31–47.

[70] Courneya KS. Understanding readiness for regular physical activity in older
individuals: an application of the theory of planned behavior. Health Psychol

[71] Jones LW, Sinclair RC, Rhodes RE, Courneya KS. Promoting exercise beha-
viour: an integration of persuasion theories and the theory of planned
behaviour. Br J Health Psychol 2004;9:505–21.

[72] Downs D, Hausenblas H. Elicitation studies and the theory of planned
behavior: a systematic review of exercise beliefs. Psychol Sport Exer

[73] Ross L, Kohler C, Grimley D, Green BL, Anderson-Lewis C. Toward a model of
prostate cancer information seeking: identifying salient behavioral and
normative beliefs among African American men. Health Educ Behav

[74] Triandis HC. Interpersonal behavior. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole; 1977.
[75] Triandis HC, editor. Values, attitudes, and interpersonal behavior. Lincoln:

University of Nebraska Press; 1980.
[76] Brinberg D. An examination of the determinants of intention and behavior: a

comparison of two models. J Appl Soc Psychol 1979;9:560–75.
[77] Valois P, Desharnais R, Godin G. A comparison of the Fishbein and Ajzen and

the Triandis attitudinal models for the prediction of exercise intention and
behavior. J Behav Med 1988;11:459–72.

[78] Kingston M, Evans S, Smith B, Berry J. Attitudes of doctors and nurses towards
incident reporting: a qualitative analysis. Med J Aust 2004;181:36–9.

[79] Reece M, Milhausen R, Perera B. A theory-based approach to understanding
sexual behavior at Mardi Gras. J Sex Res 2006;43:97–106.

[80] Caron F, Godin G, Otis J, Lambert LD. Evaluation of a theoretically based AIDS/
STD peer education program on postponing sexual intercourse and on
condom use among adolescents attending high school. Health Educ Res

[81] Booth-Butterfield S, Welbourne J. The elaboration likelihood model: its
impact on persuasion theory and research. In: Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors.
The persuasion handbook: developments in theory and practice. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002. p. 155–73.

[82] Petty RE, Cacioppo J. The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. In:
Berkowitz L, editor. Advances in experimental social psychology. San Diego:
Academic Press; 1986. p. 123–205.

[83] Petty RE, Barden J, Wheeler SC. The elaboration likelihood model of
persuasion. In: DiClemente RJ, Crosby RA, Kegler M, editors. Emerging
theories in health promotion practice and research. San Francisco: Jossey-
Bass; 2002. p. 71–99.

[84] Petty RE, Cacioppo J. Communication and persuasion: the central and per-
ipheral routes to attitude change. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1986.

[85] Petty RE, Wegener DT. The elaboration likelihood model: current status and
controversies. In: Chaiken S, Trope Y, editors. Dual process theories in social
psychology. New York: Guilford; 1999. p. 37–72.

[86] Petty RE, Cacioppo J, Goldman R. Personal involvement as a determinant of
argument-based persuasion. J Pers Soc Psychol 1981;40:432–40.

[87] Stiff J. Cognitive processing of persuasive message cues: a meta-analytic
review of the effects of supporting information on attitudes. Commun
Monogr 1986;53:75–89.

[88] Petty RE, Kasmer J, Haugtvedt C, Cacioppo J. Source and message factors in
persuasion: a reply to Stiff’s critique of the elaboration likelihood model.
Commun Monogr 1987;54:233–49.

[89] Stiff JB, Boster FJ. Cognitive processing: additional thoughts and a reply to
Petty, Kasmer, Haugtvedt, and Cacioppo. Commun Monogr 1987;54:250–

[90] Petty RE, Cacioppo JT, Kasmer JA, Haugtvedt CP. A reply to Stiff and Boster.
Commun Monogr 1987;54:257–63.

[91] Kirby SD, Ureda JR, Rose RL, Hussey J. Peripheral cues and involvement level:
influences on acceptance of a mammography message. J Health Commun

[92] Christensen TP, Ascione FJ, Bagozzi RP. Understanding how elderly patients
process drug information: a test of a theory of information processing. Pharm
Res 1997;14:1589–96.

[93] Wilson BJ. Designing media messages about health and nutrition: what
strategies are most effective? J Nutr Educ Beh 2007;39:S13–9.

[94] Bae HS. Entertainment-education and recruitment of cornea donors: the role
of emotion and issue involvement. J Health Commun 2008;13:20–36.

[95] Chaiken S. Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of
source versus message cues in persuasion. J Pers Soc Psychol 1980;39:752–

[96] Chaiken S. The heuristic model of persuasion. In: Zanna MP, Olson JM,
Herman CP, editors. Social influence: the Ontario symposium. Hillsdale,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1987. p. 3–39.

[97] Chaiken S, Lieberman A, Eagly AH. Heuristic and systematic information
processing within and beyond the persuasion context. In: Uleman JS, Bargh
JA, editors. Unintended thought. New York: Guilford Press; 1989 . p. 212–

[98] Chaiken S, Giner-Sorolla R, Chen S. Beyond accuracy: defense and impression
motives in heuristic and systematic information processing. In: Gollwitzer
PM, Bargh JA, editors. The psychology of action: linking motivation and
cognition to behavior. New York: Guilford Press; 1996. p. 553–78.

[99] Griffin R, Neuwirth K, Giese J, Dunwoody S. Linking the heuristic-systematic
model and depth of processing. Commun Res 2002;29:705–32.

[100] Meijnders AL, Midden CJ, Wilke HA. Role of negative emotion in commu-
nication about CO2 risks. Risk Anal 2001;21:955–66.

[101] Smith SW, Lindsey LL, Kopfman JE, Yoo J, Morrison K. Predictors of engaging
in family discussion about organ donation and getting organ donor cards
witnessed. Health Commun 2008;23:142–52.

[102] Kopfman JE, Smith SW, Ah Yun JK, Hodges A. Affective and cognitive reactions
to narrative versus statistical evidence organ donation messages. J Appl
Commun Res 1998;26:279–300.

[103] Etchegary H, Perrier C. Information processing in the context of genetic risk:
implications for genetic-risk communication. J Genet Couns 2007;16:419–

[104] Kahlor L, Dunwoody S, Griffin RJ, Neuwirth K, Giese J. Studying heuristic-
systematic processing of risk communication. Risk Anal 2003;23:355–68.

[105] Sherif CW, Sherif M, Nebergall RE. Attitude and attitude change: the social
judgment-involvement approach. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1965.

[106] Sherif M, Hovland CI. Social judgment: assimilation and contrast effects in
communication and attitude change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press;

[107] Sherif CW. Social values, attitudes, and the involvement of the self. In: Howe
Jr H, Page M, editors. Nebraska symposium on motivation, 1979. Lincoln, NE:
University of Nebraska Press; 1980. p. 1–64.

[108] Ledgerwood A, Chaiken S. Priming us and them: automatic assimilation and
contrast in group attitudes. J Pers Soc Psychol 2007;93:940–56.

[109] Beckstead JW, Stamp KD. Understanding how nurse practitioners estimate
patients’ risk for coronary heart disease: a judgment analysis. J Adv Nurs

[110] Holzworth RJ, Wills CE. Nurses’ judgments regarding seclusion and restraint
of psychiatric patients: a social judgment analysis. Res Nurs Health

[111] Unsworth CA, Thomas SA, Greenwood KM. Decision polarization among
rehabilitation team recommendations concerning discharge housing for
stroke patients. Int J Rehab Res (Internationale Zeitschrift fur Rehabilita-
tionsforschung) 1997;20:51–69.

[112] Unsworth CA, Thomas SA, Greenwood KM. Rehabilitation teams decisions on
discharge housing for stroke patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1995;76:331–

[113] Unsworth CA, Thomas SA. External validation of a housing recommendation
model for clients following stroke rehabilitation. Disabil Rehabil

[114] Heider F. Attitudes and cognitive organization. J Psychol 1946;21:107–12.
[115] Heider F. The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley; 1958.
[116] Festinger L. A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford Uni-

versity Press; 1957.
[117] Harmon-Jones E. A cognitive dissonance theory perspective on persuasion.

In: Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors. The persuasion handbook: developments in
theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002. p. 99–116.

[118] Perloff R. The dynamics of persuasion. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrenence Erlbaum;

[119] D’Alessio D, Allen M. Selective exposure to information and cognitive dis-
sonance. J Res Pers 2002;14:518–27.

[120] Brehm JW, Cohen AR. Explorations in cognitive dissonance. New York:
Academic Press; 1962.

[121] Aronson E. Dissonance theory: progress and problems. In: Abelson RP,
Aronson E, McGuire WJ, Newcomb TM, Rosenberg MJ, Tannenbaum PH,
editors. Theories of cognitive consistency: a sourcebook. Chicago: Rand
McNally; 1968. p. 5–27.

[122] Aronson E. The theory of cognitive dissonance: a current perspective. In:
Berkowitz L, editor. Advances in experimental social psychology. New York:
Academic Press; 1969. p. 1–34.

[123] Aronson E. The return of the repressed: dissonance theory makes a come-
back. Psychol Inq 1992;3:303–11.

[124] Steele CM. The psychology of self-affirmation: sustaining the integrity of the
self. In: Berkowitz L, editor. Advances in experimental social psychology. San
Diego: Academic Press; 1988. p. 261–302.

[125] Steele CM, Liu TJ. Dissonance processes as self-affirmation. J Pers Soc Psychol

[126] Steele CM, Spencer SJ, Lynch M. Self-image resilience and dissonance: The
role of affirmational resources. J Pers Soc Psychol 1993;64:885–96.

K.A. Cameron / Patient Education and Counseling 74 (2009) 309–317 317

[127] Britt E, Hudson SM, Blampied NM. Motivational interviewing in health
settings: a review. Patient Educ Couns 2004;53:147–55.

[128] Stone J, Aronson E, Crain AL, Winslow MP, Fried CB. Inducing hypocrisy as a
means for encouraging young adults to use condoms. Pers Soc Psychol Bull

[129] Zimbardo PG, Cohen AR, Weisenberg M, Dworkin L, Firestone I. The control of
experimental pain. In: Zimbardo PG, editor. The cognitive control of motiva-
tion: the consequences of choice and dissonance. Glenview, IL: Scott, Fores-
man; 1969. p. 100–22.

[130] Becker CB, Bull S, Schaumberg K, Cauble A, Franco A. Effectiveness of peer-led
eating disorders prevention: a replication trial. J Consult Clin Psychol

[131] McGuire WJ. The probabilogical model of cognitive structure and attitude
change. In: Petty RE, Ostrom TM, Brock TC, editors. Cognitive responses in
persuasion. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; 1981.

[132] McGuire WJ. Cognitive consistency and attitude change. J Abnorm Soc
Psychol 1960;60:345–53.

[133] McGuire WJ. Direct and indirect persuasive effects of dissonance-producing
messages. J Abnorm Soc Psychol 1960;60:354–8.

[134] McGuire WJ. A syllogistic analysis of cognitive relationships. In: Hovland CI,
Rosenberg MJ, editors. Attitude organization and change: an analysis of
consistency among attitude components. New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press; 1960. p. 65–111.

[135] Wyer Jr RS. Quantitative prediction of belief and opinion change: a further
test of a subjective probability model. J Pers Soc Psychol 1970;16:

[136] Wyer Jr RS. Cognitive organization and change: an information-processing
approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; 1974.

[137] McGuire WJ. Inducing resistance to persuasion: some contemporary
approaches. In: Berkowitz L, editor. Advances in experimental social psy-
chology. New York: Academic Press; 1964. p. 191–229.

[138] McGuire WJ, Papageorgis D. The relative efficacy of various types of prior
belief-defense in producing immunity against persuasion. J Abnorm Soc
Psychol 1961;62:327–37.

[139] Papageorgis D, McGuire WJ. The generality of immunity to persuasion
produced by pre-exposure to weakened counterarguments. J Abnorm Soc
Psychol 1961;62:475–81.

[140] Pfau M, Van Bockern S. The persistence of inoculation in conferring resistance
to smoking initiation among adolescents: the second year. Hum Commun Res

[141] Pfau M, Van Bockern S, Kang JG. Use of inoculation to promote resistance to
smoking initiation among adolescents. Commun Monogr 1992;59:213–30.

[142] Godbold LC, Pfau M. Conferring resistance to peer pressure among adoles-
cents: using inoculation theory to discourage alcohol use. Commun Res

[143] Szabo EA, Pfau M. Nuances in inoculation: theory and applications. In:
Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors. The persuasion handbook: developments in theory
and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002. p. 233–58.

[144] Katz D. The functional approach to attitudes. Public Opin Q 1960;24:163–

[145] Smith MB, Bruner JS, White RW. Opinions and personality. New York: John
Wiley; 1956.

[146] Kelman HC. Compliance, identification, and internalization: three processes
of attitude change. J Confl Resolution 1958;2:51–60.

[147] Kelman HC. Processes of opinion change. Public Opin Q 1961;25:57–78.
[148] Shavitt S, Nelson MR. The role of attitude functions in persuasion and social

judgment. In: Dillard JP, Pfau M, editors. The persuasion handbook: devel-
opments in theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2002. p. 137–53.

[149] Hullett CR, Boster FJ. Matching messages to values underlying value-expres-
sive and social-adjustive attitudes: reconciling an old theory with a con-
temporary measurement approach. Commun Monogr 2001;68:133–53.

[150] Lapinski MK, Boster FJ. Modeling the ego-defensive function of attitudes.
Commun Monogr 2001;68:314–25.

[151] Herek GM. Can functions be measured? A new perspective on the functional
approach to attitudes. Soc Psych Q 1987;50:285–303.

[152] Shavitt S. Operationalizing functional theories of attitude. In: Pratkanis AR,
Breckler SJ, Greenwald AG, editors. Attitude structure and function. Hillsdale,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1989. p. 311–37.

[153] Shavitt S. The role of attitude objects in attitude functions. J Exp Soc Psychol

[154] Snyder M. Self monitoring of expressive behavior. J Pers Soc Psychol

[155] Snyder M, DeBono KG. Appeals to image and claims about quality: under-
standing the psychology of advertising. J Pers Soc Psychol 1985;49:586–97.

[156] Herek GM. The instrumentality of attitudes: toward a neofunctional theory. J
Soc Issues 1986;42:99–114.

[157] Stasson M, Fishbein M. The relation between perceived risk and preventive
action: within-subject analysis of perceived driving risk and intentions to
wear seat belts. J Appl Soc Psychol 1990;20:1541–7.

[158] Ressler WH, Toledo E. A functional perspective on social marketing: insights
from Israel’s bicycle helmet campaign. J Health Commun 1997;2:145–56.

[159] Morrison DM, Gillmore MR, Baker SA. Determinants of condom use among
high-risk heterosexual adults: a test of the theory of reasoned action. J Appl
Soc Psychol 1995;25:651–76.

[160] Hullett CR. Using functional theory to promote sexually transmitted disease
(STD) testing: the impact of value-expressive messages and guilt. Commun
Res 2004;31:363–96.

[161] Lipkus IM, Biradavolu M, Fenn K, Keller PA, Rimer BK. Informing women
about their breast cancer risks: truth and consequences. Health Commun

  • A practitioner’s guide to persuasion: An overview of 15 selected persuasion theories, models and frameworks
  • Introduction
    Persuasion theories applicable to the patient-provider context
    Message effects theories and models
    The message learning approach
    Fear appeals
    Protection Motivation Theory
    Extended Parallel Process Model
    Language Expectancy Theory
    Attitude-behavior approaches
    Theory of Reasoned Action/Theory of Planned Behavior
    Triandis model of interpersonal behavior
    Cognitive processing theories and models
    Elaboration Likelihood Model
    Heuristic-Systematic Model
    Social Judgment Theory
    Consistency theories
    Balance Theory
    Cognitive Dissonance Theory
    Probabilogical models
    Inoculation Theory
    Functional approaches
    Discussion and conclusion
    Practice implications

Achiever Essays
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Live Chat+1(978) 822-0999EmailWhatsApp

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code RESEARCH

slot online