This research was supported by Grant #0620602 from the National Science Foundation to the first author.
Message Derogation and Self-Distancing Denial: Situational and Dispositional Influences on the Use of Denial to Protect Against a Threatening Message1
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 12, pages 2816–2836, December 2011
How to Cite
THOMPSON, S. C., ROBBINS, T., PAYNE, R. and CASTILLO, C. (2011), Message Derogation and Self-Distancing Denial: Situational and Dispositional Influences on the Use of Denial to Protect Against a Threatening Message. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 2816–2836. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00855.x
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
Five types of denial to protect against the implications of a personal health threat message (cardiovascular disease or CVD) were examined. Undergraduates (N = 150) were randomly assigned to levels of threat and difficulty, read the message, and completed measures of objective risk for CVD, optimistic denial threat orientation, measures of 1 type of message-oriented denial (message derogation) and 4 types of self-oriented denial, and intentions to engage in protective action. High threat and difficulty both provoked message derogation, but low threat led to more self-oriented denial. Individual differences were evident: Those higher in optimistic denial used more self-oriented denial and had lower intention to engage in protective actions. Self-oriented denial mediated the relationship between optimistic denial and behavioral intentions.