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Abstract

This study investigates the hypothesis that different personality traits influence fear responses to advertising appeals for two types of driver safety behavior. An experiment was conducted in which personality traits taken from the 3M model of motivation and personality (Mowen, 2000) were employed to predict fear responses to advertisements that targeted either aggressive driving or inattentive driving. For the aggressive-driving ad, introversion and need to protect and enhance body resources positively predicted fear response. For the inattentive-driving ad, introversion and need to protect and enhance body resources were again positive predictors of fear, but so also were emotional instability and agreeableness, whereas competitiveness, need for arousal, and the need for material resources were negative predictors. It is not clear why more traits predicted fear for inattentive driving than for aggressive driving. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.