Date of Graduation

Summer 2016


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Christie Cathey


The present study examined reported exercise intentions, confidence ratings, and exercise behaviors by manipulating the health status of the message source (lifetime healthy, reformed unhealthy) and message frame (gain, loss). Participants read background information pertaining to the health experience of the message source. Participants then read a physical activity health pamphlet that was attributed to the message source. The health pamphlet provided four arguments that were presented in either a gain or loss frame depending on experimental condition. The results revealed that there was a strong positive relationship between exercise intentions and actual exercise behavior reported during the follow up study. The data revealed that framing impacts confidence, a weak indicator of persuasion, as a function of message source. A loss frame message increases confidence to exercise more in the future only among participants receiving a health message from the unhealthy reformed source. Furthermore, the reformed unhealthy source was perceived as significantly more knowledgeable and intelligent than the lifetime healthy source. These results appear to suggest that there is a need for further research to examine the persuasive influence of message frame and message source with a varied health background on exercise confidence ratings and exercise intentions.


message framing, message source, health status, exercise, persuasion

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© Samantha Grace Lynn Hunter

Open Access

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Psychology Commons