PACIS 2021 Proceedings

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Health behavior change occurs after individuals paying attention to and understanding the importance of health knowledge. While extant research has established the direct link between persuasive information and behavior change outcomes, it remains unclear how message designs drive the process of health behavior change. In addition, eHealth research examines IT use for self-care, but there lacks an understanding of the role of informational nudge in public health promotion. Using a randomized experiment, we study the effects of message framing and appeal on individual attention to and comprehension of health knowledge. First, contrary to the extant persuasion literature, we find no evidence for the differential impacts of benefit and risk framings on health education. Second, emotional appeal is more effective than rational appeal to enhance health knowledge comprehension. Such an effect is heterogeneous across individuals’ demographics, information search habits, health consciousness, and their situated macro health contexts.



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