Setting the Sites High: Measuring Viewer Attention to and Recall of Framed Osteoporosis Prevention Print Advertisements

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O'Malley, Deborah
Eye Tracking Technology , Elaboration Likelihood Model , Message Framing , Osteoporosis Prevention , Attention , Cognitive Processing
Building on Message Framing Theory and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), this study examined how message frame impacts viewer attention to and cognitive processing of osteoporosis prevention print ads. Attention was measured with eye tracking technology, which calculated participants’ number of fixations and dwell time. Cognitive processing was assessed through a textual masked-recall exercise. Sixty women, with a mean age of 21.25+/-2.61 years, viewed the same 36 ads; however, the message frame changed on a randomized, rotating basis, resulting in each group viewing 12 gain-, 12 loss-, and 12 neutrally-framed ads. One-way repeated measures analyses of variance revealed that message frame significantly impacted viewers’ number of fixations, F(2,118)=8.18, p<.01, η2= .12 dwell time, F(2,118)=9.84, p<.01, η2= .14 and masked-recall results, F(2,118)=22.28, p<.01, η2 = .27. Viewers’ number of fixations, dwell time and recall of gain-framed osteoporosis prevention ads was significantly higher than to loss- or neutrally-framed ads, p<.01. Message frame was also positively correlated with number of fixations, r=.29, p<.02 and dwell time, r=.42, p<.01. Findings may help expand theory related to message framing and the ELM, while contributing to advancements in eye tracking literature and health communications practice.
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