A general formulation on the effects of fear-arousing appeals was proposed and tested, the variables being magnitude of loss, likelihood of loss, efficacy of solution, and imminency of loss. Ss were 1,204 school children in 18 experimental and 2 control groups. The fear was the danger of roundworms, presented in talks of different versions. Effects of the appeals, measured by the number of children wanting to take the drug, were found to be positive functions of magnitude and likelihood of loss, and efficacy of solution. The imminency effects need further study. Mild appeals, though less effective, were more resistant to counterpropaganda. Ss tended to minimize the threat when the solution was not efficacious.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(5), 517-524