This study examined the effects of message framing (gain and loss) and depth of message processing (high and low) on perceived susceptibility and attitudes towards performing testicular self-examinations. Hypothesized predictions were based on prospect theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979, 1982) and the elaboration likelihood model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Participants were exposed to either a gain or loss frame message and were measured and classified as high or low depth of message processing. Participants exposed to the loss frame message reported feeling greater testicular cancer perceived susceptibility than those exposed to gain frame messages. It was hypothesized that a framing effect would occur for participants who had greater depth of message processing. The results suggest that participants who processed the message more deeply and who were exposed to loss frame messages had more positive attitudes towards performing testicular self-examinations compared to participants who processed carefully and were exposed to the gain frame message and participants who processed either message frame less carefully. Theoretical implications and limitations are discussed.
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