Emotion and Response to Physician-Provided Genetic Weight Management Messages

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Principal investigator:

Susan Persky

National Human Genome Research Institute

Email: perskys@mail.nih.gov

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.


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

Summary of Results

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


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.