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Subject: AEJ 05 LeeM ADV Effects of Self-Efficacy Statements in Humorous Anti-Alcohol Abuse Messages Targeting College Students
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 29 Jan 2006 19:48:04 -0500
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This paper was presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and
Mass Communication in San Antonio, Texas August 2005.
         If you have questions about this paper, please contact the author
directly. If you have questions about the archives, email
rakyat [ at ] eparker.org. For an explanation of the subject line, 
send email to
[log in to unmask] with just the four words, "get help info aejmc," in the
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(Jan 2006)
Thank you.
Elliott Parker
====================================================================

The Effects of Self-Efficacy Statements in Humorous Anti-Alcohol 
Abuse Messages Targeting College Students:
Who is in Charge?

By
Moon J. Lee, Assistant Professor, Washington State University
Myiah Hutchens Hively, MA Student, Washington State University

Edward R. Murrow School of Communication
Washington State University
PO Box 642520
Pullman, WA 99164
(509)335-4225
[log in to unmask]

Running head: Effects of self-efficacy in messages targeting college students
Abstract
	This study examined the effects of self-efficacy statements in 
humorous, positively reinforced anti-alcohol abuse messages. The 
experiment was a post test only design with 124 college students. 
Results indicate that highly rebellious individuals who watched ads 
with a self-efficacy statement (i.e. You are in control of the 
situation) indicated lower alcohol expectancies, higher risk 
perceptions, and higher intentions to change their drinking behavior 
than those in the non-self-efficacy condition. Implications of the 
results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

	Problems resulting from college students' excessive drinking (also 
known as binge drinking problems) are not new, but continually cause 
serious concerns for many parents, educators, health campaign 
practitioners and government officials (Lee & Bichard, 2002; Lee & 
Chen, 2004). Binge drinking, which has been defined as consuming more 
than five drinks in one sitting for a male and more than four drinks 
in one sitting for females (Wechsler, Dowdall, Maener, Gledhill-Hoyt, 
& Lee, 1998) has been the subject of multiple research efforts 
(Skuttle, 1999; Dorsey, Miller & Scherer, 1999; Oei & Burrow, 2000, 
Hasking & Oei, 2002; Blume, Schmaling & Marlatt, 2003).
A study conducted by the Washington State Department of Health in 
2002 indicated that 18 to 24 year olds are the most likely age group 
to abuse alcohol. For example, it was found that 39 percent of 18 to 
24 year olds indicated that they had at least one binge drinking 
incident in the past month. In fact, it is estimated that more than 
40 percent of college students are binge drinkers (Wechsler, et al., 1998).
Previous studies have investigated how to tailor messages to at-risk 
individuals (known as rebellious risk-takers) (Lee & Ferguson, 2002; 
Lee et al., 2002; Lee, 2003; Lee et al., 2004). However, although 
several types of messages were identified as promising for targeting 
at-risk individuals, the effort to identify effective messages to 
achieve the desired results – i.e. an increased intention to modify 
their drinking behaviors– has been less fruitful than desired.
Lee and Ferguson (2002) argued that message designers should look at 
individuals' rebellious tendencies when designing messages because 
individuals who are rebellious seem to react to messages differently 
from individuals with low rebellious tendencies. The major 
characteristic of rebellious individuals is that they tend to take 
risks to oppose social norms and enjoy being labeled as a rebel 
(Ferguson, Valenti & Melwani, 1991; Lee et al., 2002). Since these 
individuals take risks for the notoriety of being a risk-taker, as 
opposed to the perceived benefits of the action (Lee et al., 2002), 
it is logical to take this tendency into consideration when designing 
effective messages. In fact, Lee et al. (2002) found that rebellious 
individuals respond better to humorous messages than messages that 
utilized fear appeals in anti-tobacco advertisements. A follow up 
study (Lee, 2003) again found the similar results in anti-alcohol 
abuse messages. However, rebellious individuals' intentions to change 
their drinking behaviors did not seem to be influenced by the 
humorous messages.
	One of the important and well-researched concepts in the health 
communication field is self-efficacy (i.e., Annis & Davis, 1988; 
Skuttle, 1999). Self-efficacy is defined as one's belief about 
his/her ability to change or control his/her own behavior (Bandura, 
1994). Research has shown that higher self-efficacy leads to fewer 
binge drinking episodes (Blume, Schmaling & Marlatt, 2003; Oei & 
Morawska, 2004) and lower alcohol consumption (Oei & Burrow, 2000; 
Skuttle, 1999). Furthermore, increasing self-efficacy in alcohol 
treatment facilities has shown to be successful in reducing drinking 
problems (Hasking & Oei, 2002). However little research has been 
conducted on how to design media messages that appeal to individuals' 
self-efficacy and how adding self-efficacy statements in anti-alcohol 
abuse messages influences at-risk individuals' reactions.
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of 
self-efficacy statements in anti-alcohol abuse messages particularly 
when targeting rebellious individuals. An experiment was conducted 
with 124 college students in a large northwestern university in which 
half of the participants viewed humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads that 
had not been manipulated (will be referred to as the 
non-self-efficacy condition), and the other half of the participants 
viewed humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads that had a textual 
self-efficacy statement (e.g. You are in charge) inserted into each 
ad (the self-efficacy condition).
Drinking and Risk Taking Tendencies.
In order to understand how to tailor messages to individuals at risk, 
message designers need to understand how those individuals make 
choices. Researchers have concluded that individuals' risk-taking 
tendencies help to create a clearer picture of how they make 
decisions (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee et al., 2002; Moore & Gullone, 
1996; Zuckerman, 1979).
Previous research has indicated that high sensation seeking 
individuals are more likely to use drugs, and use them more often, 
than peers who have lower levels of sensation seeking, especially 
sensation seekers who fall under the categories of Disinhibition and 
Boredom Susceptibility (Zuckerman, 1979; Donohew, Palmgreen & Lorch, 
1994; Lee et al., 2002). A concept similar to sensation seeking, but 
differed for its emphasis on behavioral characteristics is an 
individual's risk-taking tendency, a behavioral tendency to take 
different types of risk. Studies have shown that young adults have 
higher risk-taking tendencies than those in younger or older age 
groups (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee et al., 2002). One of the most 
relevant types to individuals' alcohol abuse is their rebellious 
risk-taking tendency. Rebellious individuals are known to seek 
stimulation through partying and social drinking. Rebellious 
individuals tend to take risks in order to oppose social norms and 
enjoy being labeled a rebel (Ferguson et al., 1991; Lee et al., 
2002). The notoriety of being a risk-taker in addition to the 
perceived benefits of the action seems to motivate this type of 
risk-taker (Lee et al., 2002). Therefore, this type of risk-takers 
are hard to persuade even though they are a prime target for 
anti-alcohol abuse messages.



Effective Message Design.
Researchers suggested that effective health campaign efforts should 
target specific audiences in terms of their specific characteristics 
(Austin & Meili, 1994; Lee et al., 2002). A handful of research has 
been conducted as to how to better tailor media messages to their 
intended audiences, specifically rebellious individuals because they 
respond to messages differently and tend to put themselves at risk 
through their behaviors (Lee et al., 2002; Lee, 2003; Lee et al., 
2004). One approach that has promising results was using humorous 
appeals as opposed to fear appeals.
Humor Appeals. Traditionally, humor appeals are more frequently used 
in promotional messages such as alcohol advertisements rather than in 
health campaign messages. Humor is found to be effective in drawing 
attention (Madden & Weinberg, 1984; Monahan, 1994; Weinberger & 
Gulas, 1992), generating brand recognition, and enhancing liking of a 
product (Weinberger et al., 1992).
Although there is some evidence that humor enhances persuasion (Batra 
& Ray, 1986; Lee et al, 2002; Lee, 2003; Weinberger et al., 1992), 
the effects of humor appeals do not seem to last long since humor 
tends to elicit heuristic information processing rather than 
thoughtful and elaborated information processing (Monahan, 1994). 
Perhaps, this heuristic information processing of humor appeal 
reduces the threatening feelings presented in the messages (Monahan, 
1994). Humor appeals, therefore, can provide another means to reduce 
a target audience's defensive mechanisms and enhance their 
susceptibility of a recommended action in health communication 
messages (Monahan, 1994; Lee et al., 2002). However, the major 
challenge is how to design messages that evoke a positive emotion 
that eventually leads to intended attitudinal, intentional, or 
behavioral changes (Lee et al., 2002).
Recent research determined that individuals with rebellious 
risk-taking tendencies react negatively to fear appeals, which have 
been commonly used in anti-substance abuse messages (Lee et al., 
2002). However, when humor was used to relay the message, the 
negative correlation between individuals' rebellious tendencies and 
their intentions to change their behaviors was not present. Lee et 
al., (2002) speculated that messages which use fear draw the 
attention of rebellious individuals but will lead to defensive 
reactions, which hinders further acceptance of a recommended action. 
Therefore, message designers need to tailor their messages to target 
this particular public in a manner that diminishes their defensive 
reactions by looking at not only how to gain their attention, but 
also how to minimize possible defensive reactions to the given messages.
	One study found that heavy drinkers who watched the humorous 
anti-alcohol abuse ads reported higher levels of intention to change 
their drinking behaviors than those who watched the fear ads as well 
as those who were in the control group (Lee, 2003). A follow-up study 
examined how college drinkers would react to humorous anti-alcohol 
abuse messages with different types of reinforcements; positive vs. 
negative reinforcements (Lee et al., 2004). In the study, positive 
reinforcement was classified as messages that contained positive 
verbs such as do, can or be; and negative reinforcement was 
classified as messages that contained negative verbs such as don't or 
can't. It was found that moderate drinkers exhibited a higher level 
of intention to change their drinking behavior in the negative 
reinforcement condition than those in the positive reinforcement 
condition. However, no significant condition effect was found among 
heavy drinkers in terms of their intention to change their drinking 
behaviors even though those who watched the ads with positive 
reinforcements perceived higher levels of risk associated with 
alcohol abuse than those who watched the ads with negative reinforcements.
Self-Efficacy	Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory, which 
includes the concept of self-efficacy, has been widely applied in 
health research as well as clinical practices. Bandura (1994) defines 
self-efficacy as "people's beliefs about their capabilities to 
produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over 
events that affect their lives" (p. 71).
According to Bandura (1994), self-efficacy can be built up through 
"mastery experiences," vicarious experiences, and/or social 
persuasion. Bandura (1994) stated that the best way to acquire 
self-efficacy is through life-long experiences. However, it is also 
possible for one to develop self-efficacy through vicarious 
experiences or social persuasion, either by having social models for 
an individual to identify with and learn from or by being helped to 
believe that he/she is in control of his/her behavior.
   	People with high self-efficacy can rebound from failure more 
easily than those with low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy influences 
human functioning in cognitive, motivational, affective, and 
selection process (Bandura, 1994). In cognitive processes, the higher 
the sense of self-efficacy, the higher goals people set for 
themselves. In motivational processes, self-efficacy determines not 
only the goals people set for themselves, but also the amount of 
effort, the length of perseverance when faced with difficulty, and 
their resilience to failures. In affective processes, self-efficacy 
helps exercise control over such negative emotions as anxiety, 
depression and stress. In selection processes, perceived 
self-efficacy determines the kind of life people choose to live and 
the kind of occupation they choose to pursue.
Bandura (1995) later emphasized the health-promoting role of 
self-efficacy. He pointed out that perceived self-efficacy was an 
important determinant of people's beliefs in their ability to cope 
with and their execution of direct control over health-impairing 
habits such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and 
sexually transmitted diseases. "People's beliefs that they can 
motivate themselves and regulate their own behavior play a crucial 
role in whether they even consider changing detrimental health 
habits" (p. 28).
Self-Efficacy and Drinking Behavior Many health researchers have used 
Bandura's concept to help explain problematic drinking behaviors and 
how to treat them (Oei & Morawsak 2004; Blume, Schmaling & Marlatt 
2003; Hasking & Oei 2002; Oei & Burrow 2000; Dorsey, Miller & Scherer 
1999; Skuttle 1999; Annis & Davis 1988).
	Skuttle (1999) discovered that self-efficacy scores using Annis' 
Situational Confidence Questionnaire (1984) were negatively 
correlated with perceived benefits from drinking (alcohol expectancy) 
and amounts of abuse. In other words, the lower self-efficacy scores 
individuals had, the higher perceived benefits from drinking as well 
as the higher amounts of abuse they exhibited.
Several researchers have looked specifically at college-aged students 
and how their perceptions of self-efficacy relate to their drinking 
behaviors (Dorsey, Miller & Scherer, 1999; Blume, Schmaling & 
Marlatt, 2003). It was discovered that the students' self-efficacy 
had a strong effect on their drinking behaviors. Students with higher 
self-efficacy scores consistently had fewer binge drinking 
experiences. The researchers caution, however, that all results are 
based only on self-reported short-term effects, so more research 
needs to be conducted in order to determine the long term effects of 
self-efficacy.
	Oei & Burrow (2000) further examined drinking refusal self-efficacy 
to assure that drinking refusal self-efficacy was measuring 
self-efficacy regarding drinking behaviors rather than other types of 
substance abuses such as smoking or caffine consumption. Their 
research once again indicated that self-efficacy, specifically 
drinking refusal self-efficacy, was a critical factor in alcohol 
consumption. In addition, it was speculated that alcohol consumption 
would be better predicted by self-efficacy than alcohol expectancies. 
A follow-up study (Oei & Morawsak, 2004) found that self-efficacy was 
indeed a better predictor than alcohol expectancies for alcohol 
consumption. Self-efficacy predicted both amount and frequency of 
consumption while alcohol expectancies only predicted whether or not 
they would drink at all.
Hasking & Oei (2002) examined the relationships between self-efficacy 
and coping in both community and clinical samples to predict alcohol 
consumption. The researchers used the Kharvari Alcohol Test (Khavari 
& Farber, 1978) to measure frequency of drinking, the Drinking 
Expectancy Profile, parts one and two (Young & Oei, 1996), to measure 
self-efficacy and alcohol expectancies, and the Cope Scale (Carver, 
Scheier & Weintraub, 1989) to measure different ways of coping. It 
was found that self-efficacy was significantly correlated to 
frequency and amount of alcohol consumed in the community sample. 
While the clinical group had lower self-efficacy scores, it was not 
as highly correlated to alcohol consumption as the community group. 
The most significant factor for the clinical group was alcohol 
expectancies, and the most significant for the community group was 
refusal self-efficacy. Hasking et al. (2002) concluded that in 
moderate drinkers, self-efficacy is the predominate factor when 
deciding how much to drink.
Based on the literature on self-efficacy and its relationship to 
alcohol consumption and treatment, as well as individuals' rebellious 
risk-taking tendencies, it was suspected that encouraging an 
individual's self-efficacy though anti-alcohol abuse media messages 
would influence individuals with rebellious tendencies positively. 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 
self-efficacy statements in humorous, positively reinforced 
anti-alcohol abuse messages based on individuals' rebellious 
tendencies. It was suspected that rebellious individuals would 
exhibit less defensive reactions to the messages with self-efficacy 
statements and greater intentions to change their drinking behaviors 
than to the messages without self-efficacy statements.
Hypotheses These hypotheses were derived from the existing literature 
on risk-taking tendencies and the effects of self-efficacy. Five main 
hypotheses with one research question were examined in this study.
	H1a: Perceptions of fear will be greater in the non-self-efficacy 
condition than the self-efficacy condition.
	This hypothesis is driven from the assumption that self-efficacy 
messages would encourage the individual's feeling of control over 
their actions, reducing a feeling of vulnerability. Therefore, it is 
hypothesized that self-efficacy messages will reduce the 
participants' fearful response to the messages.
	H1b: Perceptions of fear will be greater for low rebellious 
individuals than high rebellious individuals.
	Previous research (Lee et al., 2002; Lee 2003) found that 
low-rebellious individuals tend to be more scared by health messages 
about their drinking behaviors than high-rebellious individuals.
	H2: Highly rebellious college students in the self-efficacy 
condition will like the ads better than those in the 
non-self-efficacy condition while the same effect is not expected 
among low rebellious college students.
	Encouraging self-efficacy is expected to increase the liking of the 
ads by lowering the defensive reactions of rebellious individuals. It 
is hypothesized that this will be true only for the high rebellious 
individuals because previous studies (Lee et al., 2002; Lee 2003) 
have shown that low rebellious individuals are less likely to exhibit 
defensive reactions to the media messages.
	H3: Rebellious participants who view the ads with the self-efficacy 
messages will have higher levels of drinking refusal self-efficacy 
than those in the non-self-efficacy condition.
	H4: Rebellious participants' perceptions of risks involved with 
drinking will be greater for individuals in the self-efficacy 
condition than the non-self-efficacy condition.
	H5: Rebellious participants' intention to change their drinking 
behaviors will be greater for those in the self-efficacy condition 
than the non-self-efficacy condition.
	It is hypothesized that using self-efficacy statements to lower 
rebellious participants' defensive reactions to anti-alcohol abuse 
messages will lead to higher information processing, which will lead 
to higher levels of intention to change their risky behaviors.
	RQ1: Will alcohol expectancies be influenced by the self-efficacy 
statements in the humorous, positively reinforced anti-alcohol abuse 
ads based on individuals' rebellious risk-taking tendencies?
Method
	This study examined whether self-efficacy statements in humorous, 
positively reinforced, anti-alcohol abuse advertisements would reduce 
rebellious individuals' defensive reactions to "drink responsibly" 
advertisements, in turn increasing their likelihood of acceptance of 
the messages and leading to a higher intention to change their 
drinking behaviors. The experimental design was a post-test only 
model with a self-efficacy condition and a non-self-efficacy 
condition. One hundred and twenty four participants from a large 
university in the northwestern United States participated and were 
compensated either with extra credit or monetarily.
	Dependant variables in the experiment included liking of the ads, 
alcohol expectancies, intention to change their drinking behaviors, 
drinking refusal self-efficacy, fear of drinking and perceptions of 
risks involved with drinking.
Developing the Stimuli
Choosing the ads. Two graduate students and one undergraduate student 
in communication reviewed and selected humorous television ads from 
previous studies (Lee, 2003; Lee et al., 2004) and newer ads on the 
Internet. Three coders (communication graduate and undergraduate 
students) rated existing humorous alcohol ads using the humor/fear 
scale created by Lee et al. (2002). Humorous ads were defined as ads 
that use humor to gain attention and try to deter excessive drinking 
or encourage responsible drinking. These ads often use light 
consequences of drinking, such as gaining weight or sounding 
obnoxious. All ads used were positively reinforced, meaning they 
included positive verbs such as "do" or "can" instead of negative 
verbs such as "don't" or "can't" (Lee et al., 2004) in taglines. In 
addition, all of the ads selected were anti-alcohol abuse ads, and 
the majority encouraged responsible drinking.
	The coders' ratings and quality of the ads were used to determine 
the final six clips that were used. The titles of the clips given by 
the producers are; "You Know When To Stop," "Guys in the Desert," 
"Drink Responsibly," "Slash," "Responsibility Matters" and "Pit Crew."
Self-Efficacy. The self-efficacy messages were created by two 
graduate students, an undergraduate student and a professor in 
communication and were added to the end of each ad for the 
experiment. Two tapes were created for the experiment. The 
non-self-efficacy condition's tape was not edited or changed at all 
from how the ads appear on television, and the self-efficacy 
condition's tape had a graphic inserted onto the ad which contained a 
self-efficacy statement. The slogans were added onto the existing ad 
instead of on a separate screen to make the ads seem as realistic as possible.
The messages were "Only You Control the Situation," "You Can Break 
the Myth," "Drink Responsibly, You Can Change," "You Can Make a 
Better Choice," "You Can Make a Difference Too," and "You're in Charge."
"Only You Control the Situation" was used in the "You Know When to 
Stop" ad and was preceded by a graphic which read "Knowing When to 
Stop is a Good Thing." "You Can Break the Myth" was used with the 
"Guys in the Desert" ad and was preceded by a graphic which read 
"Alcohol, it's Not as Cool as You Think." "Drink Responsibly, You Can 
Change" was used with the "Drink Responsibly" ad and had no other 
writing with it. "You Can Make a Better Choice" was used with "Slash" 
and was preceded by a graphic that read "Drink Intelligently." "You 
Can Make a Difference Too" was used with the "Responsibility Matters" 
ad and was preceded by a graphic which read "We All Make a 
Difference." "You're in Charge" was used with the "Pit Crew" ad and 
was preceded by a graphic which read "Drink Intelligently."
Experimental Procedure. Upon arrival, students were greeted and 
randomly assigned to one of the conditions. At the beginning of the 
experiment, the participants were given a survey designed to measure 
their risk-taking tendencies (Ferguson et al, 1991; Lee et al, 2002), 
their general self-efficacy (Schwarzer & Fuchs, 1995), and drinking 
refusal self-efficacy (Young & Oei, 1996), which was modified by a 
professor and three communication students. After completing the 
pretest survey, the participants were asked to watch either the tape 
with the self-efficacy statements (n = 65), the self-efficacy 
condition, or the tape which had not been altered (n = 59), 
non-self-efficacy condition.
	After watching the ads, participants were asked to answer Likert 
scale questions (on a scale of 0 to 9) regarding their fear of 
drinking, liking of the ads, intention to change their drinking 
behavior, alcohol expectancies, perceived risks of alcohol, and 
drinking refusal self-efficacy.
Data Analysis
Creating the rebellious scale Ten items from a scale created by Lee 
et al. (2002) were used to create the rebellious scale. The items 
were; "I like wild parties," "I am rebellious," "I often do things 
spontaneously," "Life without danger would be too dull for me," "I 
enjoy doing things that others find dangerous," "I sometimes like to 
do things that are frightening," "I'm likely to do drugs when I 
party," "I believe rules are meant to be broken," "I like driving 
fast," and "I would love to have new and exciting experiences, even 
if they are illegal." The Cronbach's alpha score for the ten items is 
.88, with 48% of variance explained. An index of the participants' 
responses to the ten items was created and their average score was 
noted. Participants whose index score was between 0 and 4.9 were 
classified as low rebellious, n = 76, and participants whose index 
score fell between 5 and 9 were classified as high rebellious, n = 47.
Manipulation check  To assure that the same level of humor was 
perceived in the two groups, ten Likert-type (scale of 0 to 9) 
questions from the index created by Lee et al. (2002) were asked 
after viewing the ads. The items were; "One of the things I liked 
about these ads was how funny they were," "These ads are amusing," 
"Those people in the ads are funny," "I found myself laughing when I 
watched these ads," "I found these ads exciting and stimulating," 
"These ads truly held my interest," "I like these ads very much," "I 
think the advertisements I just saw are very funny," "I enjoy the 
humor used in these ads," and "I found myself feeling very good after 
I watched these ads." The Cronbach's alpha score for these ten items 
is .93, with 62% of variance explained. An independent t-test was 
conducted to ensure that the same level of humor was perceived in 
each group. As expected, there was not a significant difference, p = .46.
Dependant variables  Several questions were asked to measure the 
participants perceptions of fear, liking, drinking refusal 
self-efficacy, risk perceptions, intention to change their drinking 
behavior and alcohol expectancies. A factor analysis was conducted 
and a summed factor score was created to measure each dependant variable.
Perceptions of Fear Five items loaded onto one factor was used to 
measure perceptions of fear in the post test survey. The items were; 
"These ads made me think a great deal about the dangers of drinking," 
"These ads scare me about the dangers of drinking," "I found myself 
feeling very frightened when I watched these ads," "Ads like these 
truly make me afraid to drink," and "These ads remind me of how risky 
it is to drink." The Cronbach's alpha score for the five items is 
.82, with 59% of variance explained.
Liking	 Five items loaded onto one factor was used to measure liking 
of the ads. The items were; "I like these ads very much," "These ads 
are cool," "I can relate myself to the ads," "The portrayals in the 
ads are possible," and "I had a strong emotional reaction to these 
ads." The Cronbach's alpha score for these items is .71, with 47% of 
variance explained.	
Drinking Refusal Self-Efficacy Three items loaded onto one factor was 
used to measure drinking refusal self-efficacy. The items were; "I 
can stop drinking anytime I want," "I can stop drinking even if my 
friends insist that I drink," and "I can stop drinking anytime I 
want." The Cronbach's alpha score for these five items is .79, with 
71% of variance explained.
Risk Perceptions Five items loaded onto one factor was used to 
measure individuals' perceptions of risk involved with drinking. The 
items were; "I consider myself to be at risk of becoming an 
alcoholic," "I drink too much," "I consider myself to be at risk of 
getting in an automobile accident due to my drinking," "I consider 
myself to be at risk of getting alcohol-related injuries," and "I 
consider myself to be at risk of becoming an alcoholic." The 
Cronbach's alpha score for these five items is .85, with 62% of 
variance explained.
Alcohol Expectancies	 Five items loaded onto one factor was used to 
measure alcohol expectancies. The items were; "Drinking facilitates a 
social atmosphere," "Drinking helps relationships," "Drinking makes 
people relaxed," "People who drink are relaxed, easy-going people," 
and "Drinking makes people happy." The Cronbach's alpha score for the 
five items is .77, with 53% of variance explained.
Intention to Change Drinking Behavior  Four items loaded onto one 
factor was used to measure intention to change behavior. The items 
were; "I drink too much," "I consider myself to be at risk of 
becoming an alcoholic," "I plan on changing my drinking habits very 
soon," and "I would very much like to change my current drinking 
habits." The Cronbach's alpha score for these four items is .83, with 
67% of variance explained.
Results
H1a: Perceptions of fear will be greater in the non-self-efficacy 
condition than the self-efficacy condition.
	There was a significant condition effect on perceptions of fear in 
the ads, F (1,119) = 550.72, p < .05. Participants in the 
self-efficacy condition (n = 64, M = .18, S.D. = .96) indicated 
higher perceptions of fear than those in the non-self-efficacy 
condition (n = 59, M = -.18, S.D. = .85). Therefore this hypothesis 
was not supported; in fact the direction came out to be the opposite.
H1b: Perceptions of fear will be greater for low rebellious 
individuals than high rebellious individuals regardless of the condition.
	There was a significant rebelliousness effect on perceptions of fear 
in the ads, F (1, 119) = 368.90, p < .05. Low rebellious individuals 
(n = 76, M = .13, S.D. = .95) perceived more fear than the high 
rebellious individuals (n = 47, M= -.18, S.D. = .85). Therefore this 
hypothesis was supported.
			----- Insert figure 1 here -----	  			
H2: Highly rebellious college students in the self-efficacy condition 
will like the ads better than those in the non-self-efficacy 
condition while the same effect is not expected among low rebellious 
college students.
	There was no significant condition effect for liking of the ads, F 
(1, 119) = 1.82, p = .41. Therefore this hypothesis was not 
supported. However, it should be noted that among the low rebellious 
individuals the anticipated direction was different than expected. A 
simple t-test of the low rebellious individuals indicated a 
significant condition effect for the low rebellious individuals, t 
(1.75) = 2.14, p < .05. The individuals in the self-efficacy 
condition, (n= 41, M = .19, S.D. = .85) indicated higher levels of 
liking of the ads as compared to the individuals in the 
non-self-efficacy condition (n = 35, M = -.24, S.D. = .89).
				----- Insert Figure 2 here -----
H3: Rebellious participants who view the ads with the self-efficacy 
messages will have higher levels of drinking refusal self-efficacy 
than the individuals in the non-self-efficacy condition after viewing the ads.
There was no significant condition effect for drinking refusal 
self-efficacy, F (1, 119) = 3.54, p = .31. Therefore this hypothesis 
was not supported. However, it should be noted that the direction was 
the opposite of what was predicted. The participants in the 
self-efficacy condition (n = 64, M = -.11, S.D. = 1.04) indicated 
lower levels of drinking refusal self-efficacy than participants in 
the non-self-efficacy condition (n = 59, M = .15, S.D. = .77).
A simple t-test among the high rebellious individuals showed a 
significant condition effect, t (1.46) = -1.63, p = .05. The 
individuals in the self-efficacy condition (n = 23, M = -.43, S.D. = 
1.13) indicated significantly lower levels of drinking refusal 
self-efficacy than the participants in the non-self-efficacy group (n 
= 24, M = .04, S.D. = .84).
		----- Insert Figure 3 here -----			
	H4: Rebellious participants' perceptions of risks involved with 
drinking will be greater for individuals in the self-efficacy 
condition than the non-self-efficacy condition.
There was a significant condition effect for perceptions of risks 
involved with drinking, F (1, 119) = 80,044.91, p < .01. Individuals 
in the self-efficacy condition (n = 64, M = .16, S.D. = 1.01) 
indicated higher levels of perceived risks of drinking than the 
non-self-efficacy condition (n = 59, M= -.19, S.D. = .83). Therefore 
this hypothesis was supported.
There was also a significant rebelliousness effect for perceptions of 
risks, F (1, 119) = 143,857.53, p < .01. High rebellious individuals 
(n = 47, M = .29, S.D. = .99) indicated higher perceptions of risks 
involved with drinking than low rebellious individuals (n = 76, M = 
-.19, S.D. = .86).
			----- Insert Figure 4 here -----
H5: Rebellious participants' intention to change their drinking 
behavior will be greater for those in the self-efficacy condition 
than the non-self-efficacy condition.
There was a significant condition effect for intention to change 
drinking behavior, F (1, 106) = 1444.31, p < .05. Individuals in the 
self-efficacy condition (n = 56, M = .09, S.D. = .97) indicated 
higher levels of intention to change their drinking behavior than 
individuals in the non-self-efficacy condition (n = 54, M = -.14, 
S.D. = .86). Therefore this hypothesis was supported.
In addition, there was a significant rebelliousness effect for 
intention to change drinking behavior, F (1, 106) = 2746.97, p < .05. 
High rebellious individuals (n = 45, M = .17, S.D. = .96) indicated 
higher levels of intention to change their drinking behavior than low 
rebellious individuals (n = 65, M = -.16, S.D. = .88).
			------ Insert Figure 5 Here ------
RQ1: Will alcohol expectancies be influenced by the self-efficacy 
statements in the humorous, positively reinforced anti-alcohol abuse 
Ads based on individuals' rebellious risk-taking tendencies?
	There was a significant interaction effect for alcohol expectancies, 
F (1, 119) = 3.85, p = .05. Alcohol expectancies for high rebellious 
individuals in the self-efficacy condition (n = 23, M = .18, S.D. = 
.71) were lower than high rebellious individuals in the 
non-self-efficacy condition (n = 24, M = .54, S.D. = .77). However, 
low rebellious individuals in the self-efficacy condition (n = 41, M 
= -.11, S.D. = .93) indicated higher alcohol expectancies than the 
low rebellious individuals in the non-self-efficacy condition (n = 
35, M = -.37, S.D. = .92).
	A simple t-test was conducted on both high and low rebellious 
individuals and a significant condition effect was found (t = -1.69, 
(1.46), p = .05) for the high rebellious individuals. Alcohol 
expectancies were higher for the high rebellious individuals in the 
non-self-efficacy condition (n = 24, M = .54, S.D. = .77) than the 
high rebellious individuals in the self-efficacy condition, (n = 23, 
M = .18, S.D. = .71).
				------ Insert Figure 6 Here ------

Discussion and Conclusion
	This study examined the effect of self-efficacy statements in 
humorous, positively reinforced anti-alcohol abuse television 
advertisements on college students. It was discovered that adding 
self-efficacy messages to humorous anti-alcohol abuse ads 
significantly increased highly rebellious individuals' intentions to 
change their behaviors, increased their perceived risks of drinking, 
and decreased their perceived fear in the messages. In addition, the 
high rebellious individuals in the self-efficacy condition had 
significantly lower drinking refusal self-efficacy and alcohol 
expectancies. In fact, the increase in risk perceptions and the 
decrease in drinking refusal self-efficacy were contrary to the 
original expectations.
Clinical studies have shown that increasing self-efficacy in 
alcoholic patients leads to a decrease in drinking behavior (Annis et 
al., 1988) and additional studies show that alcohol expectancies when 
paired with self-efficacy also have an effect on drinking behavior 
(Oei et al., 2000; Oei et al., 2004). Bandura's (1994) theory of how 
self-efficacy effects human functioning could be part of the 
explanation as to how perceived self-efficacy is affecting drinking 
behavior. Bandura (1994) posits that self-efficacy serves to 
determine the kind of life people want to live and how individuals 
control negative emotions. Therefore, it logically follows that if 
individuals have low self-efficacy they will set lower goals for 
themselves and make poor choices regarding how to handle negative 
situations. Therefore, increasing their self-efficacy will lead them 
to make better choices.
In this study researchers attempted to increase individuals' 
self-efficacy through media messages, in order to make them think 
about the choices they can make. Perhaps, self-efficacy messages lead 
high rebellious individuals to engage in self-evaluation and become 
more realistic in their views of their ability to control their 
alcohol consumption thereby losing their feelings of invincibility. 
It appeared that when rebellious individuals were encountered with 
messages that they couldn't rebel against, or they agreed with, (i.e. 
You're in charge) their responses became anything but the typical 
highly rebellious individual's defensive response.
Another explanation could be the relationship to alcohol 
expectancies. Studies have already shown that lower alcohol 
expectancies lead to a decrease in drinking behavior (Blume et al., 
2003; Oei et al., 2004) so it is possible that the speculated 
self-evaluation that is triggered by self-efficacy messages is 
decreasing alcohol expectancies thereby increasing intentions to 
change their drinking behavior. This is an area that deserves more attention.
There are, however, several limitations that should be considered 
carefully. First of all, the experiment was conducted in an 
artificial setting, in a classroom with at least one moderator in the 
room. This could have influenced the participants' responses, as they 
knew they were being watched. Another potential limitation is that 
the data were based on the participants' self-reports, which while 
known to be reliable, could have been suppressed or exaggerated by 
the participants.
	In addition, the findings are based on the participants' short-term 
responses right after they watched the ads. Any effect that was noted 
in this experiment should be considered as a short-term effect. 
Therefore, a longitudinal study with a quasi field experiment design 
may provide useful insights in terms of long term effects of 
self-efficacy statements in anti-alcohol abuse media messages.
	Another potential limitation in this study was the participants. A 
majority of the participants were communication students and they 
could be biased by their media awareness or through their familiarity 
with the researchers. It is recommended that the experiment be 
conducted again with a more educationally diverse group.
	In conclusion, self-efficacy statements in humorous anti-alcohol 
abuse ads appears to be effective in reducing highly rebellious 
individuals' defensive reactions to the messages and seem to increase 
the susceptibility of recommended actions in media messages. However, 
more research is needed to determine its long-term effects and should 
be repeated to rule out any possible bias.
Finding messages to help reduce possible defensive responses from 
this target audience while at the same time increasing the likelihood 
of their acceptance of recommended actions is a very challenging 
task. However, efforts to identify effective ways to communicate with 
this target audience should continue. Such efforts will lead us to a 
better understanding of human communication, as well as more 
effective ways to offer direction to individuals, especially young 
adults, for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, without setting off 
their defensive reactions.

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Figure 1

Perceptions of fear by condition and rebelliousness








Figure 2
Liking of the ads by condition and rebelliousness









Figure 3

Drinking refusal self-efficacy by condition and rebelliousness










Figure 4
Risk perceptions by condition and rebelliousness









Figure 5

Intention to change drinking behavior by condition and rebelliousness









Figure 6
Alcohol expectancies by condition and rebelliousness

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