Message fatigue refers to a state of being exhausted and tired of prolonged exposure to similarly-themed messages (e.g., anti-obesity messages; So, Kim, & Cohen, 2017). This study tests a mediational model that accounts for how one’s preexisting fatigue toward anti-obesity messages may contribute to two different types of resistance—reactance and disengagement—toward an incoming anti-obesity message, which, in turn, reduce intention to adopt weight-management behaviors advocated in the message. The proposed model was tested in an experimental study (N = 312) involving a sample of overweight or obese adults in the United States. In the meditational model, reactance significantly mediated the negative effects of message fatigue on intention to adopt only one of four weight-management behaviors promoted in the message. However, inattention, which was an operationalization of disengagement, significantly mediated the negative effects of message fatigue on behavioral intention to adopt all four weight-management behaviors. This study urges future research on message fatigue and resistance to persuasion to consider disengagement with a message as a significant barrier to effective health communication and to devise ways to increase engagement with messages communicating “overtaught” health issues.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences