Advertisement

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 593–609 | Cite as

Using Fear Appeals in Warning Labels to Promote Responsible Gambling Among VLT Players: The Key Role of Depth of Information Processing

  • Yaromir Munoz
  • Jean-Charles Chebat
  • Jacob Amnon Suissa
Original Paper

Abstract

Video lottery terminals (VLT) are a highly lucrative gambling format, but at the same time they are among the most hazardous. Previous research has shown that threatening warnings may be an appropriate approach for promoting protective behavior. The present study explores the potential benefits of threatening warnings in the fight against compulsive gambling. A 4 × 2 factorial design experiment was used to test our model based on both Elaboration Likelihood Model and Protection Motivation Theory. 258 VLT adult players (58% males, 42% females) with various degrees of problem gambling were exposed to three threat levels (plus a control condition) from two different sources (i.e., either a medical source or a source related to the provider of VLT’s). Our results show that both higher threat warnings and the medical source of warnings enhance Depth of Information Processing. It was also found that Depth of Information Processing affects positively attitude change and compliance intentions. The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Keywords

Warning label Threatening warnings Pathological gambling Information processing Attitude change 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research received a grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), a funding authority of the government of Québec, Canada, under its Actions concertées program: Les impacts socioéconomiques des jeux de hasard et d’argent, concours 2007–2008.

References

  1. Andrews, J. C., Netemeyer, R. G., & Durvasula, S. (1993). The role of cognitive responses as mediators of alcohol warning label effect. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 12, 57–68.Google Scholar
  2. Argo, J. J., & Main, K. J. (2004). Meta-analyses of the effectiveness of warning labels. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 23, 193–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Azmier, J. (2005). Gambling in Canada 2005. Statistics and context. Edmonton, AB: Canada West Foundation.Google Scholar
  4. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Baumeister, R. F. (2002). Yielding to temptation: Self-control failure, impulsive purchasing and consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 28, 670–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bélanger, Y., Boisvert, Y., Papineau, É., Vétéré, H., & Marchildon, A. (2003). La responsabilité de l’État québécois en matière de jeu pathologique: la gestion des appareils de loterie vidéo. Montréal: Laboratoire d’éthique publique – École Nationale d’Administration Publique. http://www.inspq.qc.ca/domaines/HabitudesVie/JeuxHasardArgent.asp.
  7. Benneth, R. (1996). Effects of horrific fear appeals on public attitudes toward AIDS. International Journal of Advertising, 15, 183–202.Google Scholar
  8. Blaszczynski, A. (2000). Overcoming compulsive gambling. London: Robinson.Google Scholar
  9. Block, L. G., & Keller, P. A. (1998). Beyond protection motivation: An integrative theory of health appeals. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1584–1608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chebat, J. C., Charlebois, M., & Gélinas-Chebat, C. (2001). What makes open vs. closed conclusion advertisements more persuasive? The moderating role of prior knowledge and involvement. Journal of Business Research, 53, 93–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chebat, J. C., Gélinas-Chebat, C., El-Hedhli, K., & Boivin, R. (2007). Voice and persuasion in a banking telemarketing context. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 104, 419–437.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox, D., & Cox, A. D. (2001). Communicating the consequences of early detection: The role of evidence and framing. Journal of Marketing, 65, 91–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Delfabro, P., & Winefield, A. (2000). Predictors of irrational thinking in regular slot machine gamblers. Journal of Psychology, 134, 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Floyd, K., Whelan, J. P., & Meyers, A. U. (2006). Use of warning messages to modify gambling beliefs and behavior in a laboratory investigation. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20(1), 69–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Focal Research. (2004). 2003 NS VL responsible gaming features evaluation: Final report. Nova Scotia: Focal Research Consultants Ltd.Google Scholar
  16. Frewer, L. J., Howard, C., Hedderley, D., & Shepherd, R. (1997). The elaboration likelihood model and communication about food risks. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 17, 759–770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Golmier, I., Chebat, J. Ch., & Gélinas-Chebat, C. (2007). Can cigarette warnings counterbalance effects of smoking scenes in movies? Psychological Reports, 100, 3–18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Gray, K. L., Oakley Browne M. A., & Prabhu, V. R. (2007). Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on early intervention and prevention for problem gambling. Retrieved December 02, 2008, from http://www.gamblingresearch.org.au. Report prepared for Gambling Research Australia.
  19. Green, P. E., & Carroll, J. D. (1978). Analyzing Multivariate Data. Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  20. Griffiths, M. D. (1990). Addiction to fruit machines: A preliminary study among young males. Journal of Gambling Studies, 6, 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hammond, D., Fong, G. T., Borland, R., Cummings, M., McNeill, A., & Driezen, P. (2007). Text and graphic warnings on cigarette packages. Findings from the international tobacco control four country study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32, 210–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hammond, D., Fong, G. T., McDonald, P. W., Brown, K. S., & Cameron, R. (2004). Graphic Canadian cigarette warning labels and adverse outcomes: Evidence from Canadian smokers. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1442–1445.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hodgins, D. C., Makarchuk, K., El-Guebaly, N., & Peden, N. (2002). Why problem gamblers quit gambling: A comparison of methods and samples. Addiction Research and Therapy, 10, 203–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Janis, I. L. (1967). Effects of fear arousal on attitude change: Recent developments in theory and experimental research. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 166–224). New York: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  25. Korn, D., Gibbins, R., & Azmier, J. (2003). Framing public policy towards a public health paradigm for gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 19, 235–256.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Laroche, M., Toffoli, R., Zhang, Q., & Pons, F. (2001). A cross-cultural study of the persuasive effect of fear appeal messages in cigarette advertising: China and Canada. International Journal of Advertising, 20, 297–317.Google Scholar
  27. LaTour, M. S., & Rotfeld, H. J. (1997). There are threats and (maybe) fear-caused arousal: Theory and confusions of appeals to fear and fear arousal itself. Journal of Advertising, 26, 45–59.Google Scholar
  28. Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. Oxford University Press: New York.Google Scholar
  29. Lirtzman, S. I., & Shuv-Ami, A. (1986). Credibility of sources of communication on product’s safety hazards. Psychological Reports, 58, 707–718.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lowrey, T., Chebat, J. Ch., & Sabbane, L. I. (2009). The effectiveness of cigarette warning label threats on non-smoking adolescents. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 43(2), 332–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Maddux, J. E., & Rogers, R. W. (1983). Protection motivation theory and self-efficacy: A revised theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19, 467–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maheswaran, D., & Meyers-Levy, J. (1990). The influence of message framing and issue involvement. Journal of Marketing Research, 27, 361–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mick, D. G. (1992). Levels of subjective comprehension in advertising processing and their relations to ad. Journal of Consumer Research, 18, 411–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Morgan, T., Kofoed, L., Buchkoski, J., & Carr, R. (1996). Video lottery gambling: Effects on pathological gamblers seeking treatment in South Dakota. Journal of Gambling Studies, 12, 451–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Perloff, R. M., & Brock, T. (1980). And thinking makes it so: Cognitive responses to persuasion. In M. E. Roloff & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Persuasion: New directions in theory and research (pp. 67–99). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  36. Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1981). Issue involvement as a moderator of the effects of attitudes on advertising content and context. Advances in Consumer Research, 8, 20–24.Google Scholar
  37. Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and persuasion: Central and peripheral routes to attitude change. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  38. Petty, R. E., & Wegener, D. T. (1999). The elaboration likelihood model: Current status and controversies. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual-process theories in social psychology (pp. 41–72). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  39. Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1983). Stages and processes of self-change of smoking: Toward and integrative model of change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51, 390–395.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Reichert, T., Heckerl, S. E., & Jackson, S. (2001). The effects of sexual social marketing appeals on cognitive processing and persuasion. Journal of Advertising, 30, 13–27.Google Scholar
  41. Rippetoe, P. A., & Rogers, L. W. (1987). Effects of components of protection motivation theory on adaptive and maladaptive coping with a health threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 596–604.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Rogers, R. W. (1975). A protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Psychology, 91, 93–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rogers, R. W. (1983). Cognitive and physiological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: A revised theory of protection motivation. In J. Cacioppo & R. Petty (Eds.), Social psychophysiology (pp. 153–176). Gilford: New York.Google Scholar
  44. Sabbane, L. I., Bellavance, F., & Chebat, J. Ch. (2009). Recency vs. repetition priming effects of cigarette warnings on non-smoking teenagers: The moderating effects of cigarette brand familiarity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 656–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schrans, T., Grace, J., & Schellinck, T. (2004). 2003 NS VL responsible gaming features evaluation. Final Report. Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from http://www.nsgc.ca.
  46. Smith, G. J., & Wynne, G. J. (2004). VLT gambling in Alberta. A preliminary analysis. Final Report. Alberta, Canada: Alberta Gaming Research Institute.Google Scholar
  47. Snipes, R. L., LaTour, M. S., & Bliss, S. J. (1999). A model of the effects of self-efficacy on the perceived ethicality and performance of fear appeals in advertising. Journal of Business Ethics, 19, 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Steenbergh, T. (2004). Impact of warning and brief intervention messages on knowledge of gambling risk, irrational belief and behaviour. International Journal of Gambling Studies., 4(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sternthal, B., Phillips, L. W., & Dholakia, R. (1978). The persuasive effect of source credibility: A situational analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 42, 285–314.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Sutton, S. R. (1982). Fear-arousing communications: A critical examination of theory and research. In J. R. Eiser (Ed.), Social psychology and behavioral medicine (pp. 303–337). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  51. Tanner, J. F., Jr., Hunt, J. B., & Eppright, D. R. (1991). The protection motivation model: A normative model of fear appeals. Journal of Marketing, 55, 36–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Witte, K., & Allen, M. (2000). A meta-analysis of fear appeals: Implications for effective public health campaigns. Health Education & Behavior, 27, 591–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zuckerman, A., & Chaiken, S. (1998). A heuristic-systematic processing analysis of the effectiveness of product warning labels. Psychology & Marketing, 15, 621–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaromir Munoz
    • 1
  • Jean-Charles Chebat
    • 2
  • Jacob Amnon Suissa
    • 3
  1. 1.Eafit UniversityMedellinColombia
  2. 2.HEC MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAMMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations