The role of coping appraisal in reactions to fear appeals: Do we need threat information?

R A C Ruiter, B Verplanken, G Kok, M O Werrij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


Fear appeal theory postulates a multiplicative relationship between threat information and coping appraisal on fear control (e.g. avoid thinking about breast cancer to reduce feelings of fear) and danger control (e.g. motivation to perform monthly breast self-examination to detect breast cancer). That is, the effects of threat information on measures of both coping modes are moderated by beliefs about one's ability to cope with the presented threat. However, in the present study no support for an interaction between threat information and coping appraisal was found on both coping modes. Instead threat information seems to contribute positively to fear control and not to danger control, whereas coping appraisal contributed positively to danger control and negatively to fear control. The results thus suggest that we might do without threatening information in persuading people to adopt health-promoting behaviours. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Cite this