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Emotion and Response to Physician-Provided Genetic Weight Management Messages

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Principal Investigator(s):

Susan Persky
National Human Genome Research Institute

Sample size:552
Field period: 10/03/2012-06/25/2014



We hypothesize that anger and fear will have opposite effects on perceptions arising from a clinical encounter. Specifically, we anticipate that anger will trigger increased perceptions of personal control, more heuristic information processing, and decreased cooperation, trust, and risk perception, compared to the control condition, whereas fear will have the opposite effect.

Experimental Manipulations:

The experiment has a 3 (elicitation of incidental anger versus fear versus control) by 2 (provision of genetic versus behavioral information) design.

Key Dependent Variables:

Causal attributions, message comprehension, risk perception, worry, behavioral intentions

Summary of Findings:

Receiving genomic information led to more negative beliefs and attitudes related to behavior change, but only among individuals in a fear state.

Additional Information:


Persky S, Ferrer RA, Klein WMP (2015, April). Genomic Information may Inhibit Behavior Change Inclinations among Individuals in a Fear State. Paper presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.




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