A Review and Analysis of Questions About the Relationship Between Fear and Persuasion

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Lijiang Shen
James Price Dillard


Some theories of fear appeals have predicted a curvilinear relationship between fear and persuasion, often based on the description of an overtime process. This paper reviews selected theories of fear appeals against what is known from the meta-analyses and finds that some of the theoretical questions simply cannot be addressed with existing data. Recommendations for testing linearity and curvilinearity in dynamic designs are presented.

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