EMBODIMENT PERSPECTIVE ON PROTECTION MOTIVATION THEORY: THE IMPACT OF INCIDENTAL WEIGHT SENSATIONS ON THREAT-APPRAISAL, COPING-APPRAISAL, AND PROTECTION MOTIVATION
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This study shows how the cognitive components of the protection motivation theory (PMT) are affected by embodied information in the context of skin cancer prevention. Weight sensations were manipulated by writing on a light versus heavy clipboard. Heaviness increased the mean self-efficacy of 120 participants and their coping-appraisal but decreased the perceived rewards of maladaptive behaviour. In contrast, weight neither affected the perceived severity of maladaptive behaviour nor the importance of tanned skin. Thus, the results are only partially compatible with the metaphor-oriented approach of embodied cognition. Moreover, while a sensed heaviness increased this correlation, increased coping-appraisal, but not threat-appraisal, increased participants’ reported protection motivation. The results suggest enlarging the spectrum of environmental inputs affecting the cognitive parameters of the PMT. The results also raise the question of the validity of self-reports in a pencil-and-paper administration mode and they may indicate the utility of bodily sensations in therapeutic settings.
301 – 314
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