Let's Talk About (Why You Don't Want to Use Male Latex Condoms During) Sex: Addressing Response Costs In Fear Appeal Messages Promoting Condom Use
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This study tests the potential benefits of addressing response costs in a fear appeal message. Response cost content acknowledges and counters drawbacks commonly associated with a proposed behavior. Response costs are not considered in the EPPM. Study participants were shown a fear appeal message from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the effectiveness of male latex condoms in preventing STI transmission. Participants randomly assigned to the experimental case were then shown additional content addressing response costs associated with condom use, while the control group was shown a message instructing them to proceed to the next block of questions. Results of independent samples t-tests reported no significant relationship between this manipulation and intention to use male condoms during sex in the future. Meanwhile, the results of a multiple linear regression found that response costs significantly increased predictive power. Taken together, this study suggests response costs remain a useful variable when considering fear appeal development, but perceptions of response costs may not be easily manipulated.