Research on self-affirmation has potential to inform the field’s understanding of health message resistance and acceptance. However, widely used self-affirmation instruments have several disadvantages that can lead to inconsistent success in generating self-affirmation and thus may explain inconsistent self-affirmation effects, or at the very least make their use cumbersome. In a series of three sequential studies, we introduced and tested a brief attribute scale format self-affirmation induction (brief scale affirmation task, or B-SAT) that was based on the 32-item attribute scale self-affirmation induction developed by Napper, Harris, and Epton. Using different behavioral contexts, we compared the performance of the B-SAT with that of two widely used self-affirmation inductions, i.e., the value essay task and the 32-item attribute scale. From a convergent validity perspective, the B-SAT performed as effectively as the two existing inductions in making people aware of their cherished and desirable values. From a predictive validity perspective, the B-SAT reduced defensive responses to a self-relevant health message and improved instrumental attitude toward the recommended behavior.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Ph.D., Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Award; University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Study 1 and 2 were supported by the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Award and the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to the first author. We thank Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, the first author?s postdoctoral mentor, for funding Study 3. We thank action editor Jeff Niederdeppe and three anonymous reviewers for their critical reading and constructive feedback on earlier versions of the manuscript.
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