Message Sensation and Cognition Values: Factors of Competition or Integration?

Health communication

PubMedID: 24877753

Xu J. Message Sensation and Cognition Values: Factors of Competition or Integration?. Health Commun. 2014;1-9.
Using the Activation Model of Information Exposure and Elaboration Likelihood Model as theoretical frameworks, this study explored the effects of message sensation value (MSV) and message cognition value (MCV) of antismoking public service announcements (PSAs) on ad processing and evaluation among young adults, and the difference between high sensation seekers and low sensation seekers in their perceptions and responses toward ads with different levels of sensation and cognition value. A 2 (MSV: high vs. low) × 2 (MCV: high vs. low) × 2 (need for sensation: high vs. low) mixed experimental design was conducted. Two physiological measures including skin conductance and heart rate were examined. Findings of this study show that MSV was not a distraction but a facilitator of message persuasiveness. These findings contribute to the activation model. In addition, need for sensation moderated the interaction effect of MSV and MCV on ad processing. Low sensation seekers were more likely to experience the interaction between MSV and MCV than high sensation seekers. Several observations related to the findings and implications for antismoking message designs are elaborated. Limitations and directions for future research are also outlined.