An Expectancy-Value Analysis of Viewer Interest in Television Prevention News Stories

Crystale Purvis Cooper, Michael Burgoon, Debra L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Understanding what drives viewer interest in television news stories about prevention topics is vital to maximizing the effectiveness of interventions that utilize this medium Guided by expectancy-value theory, this experiment used regression analysis to identify the salient beliefs associated with viewer attitudes towards these types of news stories. The 458 study participants were recruited over 30 days from a municipal jury pool in an eastern U.S. city. Out of the 22 beliefs included in the experiment, 6 demonstrated salience. Personal relevance, novelty, shock value, and the absence of exaggeration were the core values reflected in the identified salient beliefs. This study highlights the importance of explaining the relevance of prevention stones to viewers and framing these stories with a new spin or a surprising twist. However, such manipulations should be applied with savvy and restraint, as hyping prevention news was found to be counterproductive to educating the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalHealth communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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