New study on reactance in health communication

Calls to reduce meat consumption can impede behavior change by influencing attention processes.

Numerous communication campaigns try to convince people to adopt a healthy behavior. This can trigger reactance, a feeling of annoyance that leads to ignoring provided information or even reinforcing unhealthy behavior. A new study, which also involved researchers from the University of Erfurt, has investigated attentional biases as a possible cause of this so-called boomerang effect. More information on the background of the study, the method used and the interesting results are summarized in a post on the university blog (German only):

The study has been published in the Journal of Health Communication: