Fear Appeals: a Right-Wing Monopoly? The Use of Fear Appeals in Reducing Conflict
Winkel, T. te
MetadataShow full item record
The extended parallel process model (Witte, 1992) explains that fear appeals consist of two subsequent steps, where first threat is established and then efficacy is addressed. Another line of research shows that problems presented in the near future are perceived as more important (relevant) than problems in the distant future (Lewis & Oyserman, 2015). This study combined these lines of research to investigate if fear appeals can be used to reduce conflict, using the refugee crisis as a context. It was expected that more negative conflict intentions would be expressed when the threat was high compared to when the threat was of moderate strength. Furthermore, when a threat was high and relevant (i.e., in the near future), it would lead to most negative conflict intentions, but only when self-efficacy and / or response efficacy were low. Finally, it was expected that when both self-efficacy and response efficacy were high, a high relevant threat would lead to the strongest intentions to reduce conflict. These hypotheses were tested by a 2x2 design (high threat vs. moderate threat and in near future vs. in far future), using a fictitious article as the manipulation. Following, positive conflict intentions and negative conflict intentions were measured. Although efficacy did not show to have any effect on the results, it was shown that a relevant threat leads to less negative conflict intentions, which suggests that fear appeals can indeed be used to reduce conflict. The research of using fear appeals to reduce conflict is new and these results show that further research is necessary.