Operationalizing the second-person effect and its relationship to behavioral outcomes of direct-to-consumer advertising

Jisu Huh, Denise E. DeLorme, Leonard N. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the second-person effect in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising. The authors examine the conceptual and operational definitions of the second-person effect, empirically testing Neuwirth and Frederick's operational definition of the second-person effect (the additive term); determine predictors of the second-person effect; and extend the findings of the Neuwirth and Frederick study regarding the relationship between the second-person effect and behavioral outcomes to the advertising context. The findings suggest that the additive term may not reflect the conceptual definition of the second-person effect but instead may measure combined perceived effect or total perceived effect, which is free from the constraint of focusing on the self-other effect gap. Applying the conceptual definition of the second-person effect, this study proposes an alternative operationalization method (the difference term) that measures perceived effect similarity based on the difference score. This study also presents findings regarding the behavioral aspects of the second-person effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-207
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Advertising effects
  • Direct-to-consumer advertising
  • Second-person effect
  • Third-person effect

Cite this