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|Title:||Is anybody doing it? An experimental study of the effect of normative messages on intention to do physical activity|
|Authors:||VAN BAVEL Rene; ESPOSITO GABRIELE; BARANOWSKI Tom|
|Citation:||BMC PUBLIC HEALTH vol. 14 p. 778|
|Publisher:||BIOMED CENTRAL LTD|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||Background The study explores whether messages about the physical activity levels of the majority (i.e. normative messages) affect young adults' intention to engage in regular physical activity. Methods An experimental survey among 16 to 24 year-olds in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania (n = 1200) was conducted in March 2013. A control group received no message; one treatment group was told that the majority was physically active (positive message); and another treatment group was told that the majority was not physically active (negative message). Results Both the positive and (unexpectedly) the negative normative messages showed a significant and positive effect on intention to be physically active. There was no difference between the effects of the messages. Conclusions Normative messages affect intention, which is encouraging for public health campaigns. The effect of the positive message confirms previous findings on conformity to the norm; the effect of the negative message is unexpected and requires further research to be understood.|
|JRC Directorate:||Growth and Innovation|
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