Exemplification Effects in the Promotion of Safety and Health


  • Dolf Zillmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology and College of Communication and Informational Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0172
      Dolf Zillmann; e-mail: zillmann@ua.edu.
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Dolf Zillmann; e-mail: zillmann@ua.edu.


After explicating essentials of exemplification theory, research demonstrations of the effects of exemplar presentations on the formation and modification of beliefs about safety and health, as well as on the consequences of these beliefs for self-protective behavior, are summarized. Affective reactivity connected with exemplifications, especially with exemplifications presented in pictorial formats, is given special consideration. The implications of theory and research for the promotion of safety and health via the media of communication are then enumerated. The influence of exemplifications on matters of personal welfare is further considered in concert with the influence projected by complementary theoretical approaches that focus on strategic decision making.