The credibility of refutation in two-sided anti-drug messages
Faculty of Applied Economics
Journal of Social Marketing
, p. 241-257
University of Antwerp
Purpose - This study aims to address the credibility effects of refutational versus non-refutational two-sided messages. Additionally, it aims to unravel the moderating role of issue ambivalence and argument type. Design/methodology/approach - A2 x 2 x 2 between-subjects factorial experimental design (N = 853 adolescents) investigates the effect of eight anti-binge drinking and anti-marijuana messages on source and message credibility. Findings - The results show that refutation increases credibility compared to non-refutation. Additionally, a three-way interaction effect is found: credibility depends on the ambivalence of the issue and the argument type. Originality/value - First, this study clarifies the inconsistencies found in previous literature regarding (non-) refutational two-sided messages by addressing two important (and so far neglected) moderating variables. Second, we provide useful new insights for health practitioners who develop campaigns to prevent drug abuse among adolescents.