Nudging smokers away from lighting up: A meta-analysis of framing effect in current smokers

Journal article


Waheed, H. 2023. Nudging smokers away from lighting up: A meta-analysis of framing effect in current smokers. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. 104, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socec.2023.101998
AuthorsWaheed, H.
Abstract

Should smoking cessation messages be framed in terms of gains or losses? While the risk-framing hypothesis suggests a persuasive advantage for gain-framed messages, empirical evidence so far has been mixed. In defense of the risk-framing hypothesis, researchers have suggested that the diversity of results in this literature stream can be attributed to differences in issue involvement. The present study examined these predictions by employing a meta-analysis (14 studies) comprising of a Correlated and Hierarchical Effects model with Robust Variance Estimation. There was a small persuasive advantage in favour of gain-framed messages (g = 0.104, SE = 0.049), but this contrast was not statistically significant (p = 0.070, CI95 = -0.011, 0.218). This finding is robust to the values of correlation between sampling errors of the effect sizes, influential outliers, and publication bias. Moreover, issue involvement proxied through nicotine dependence did not moderate the relative persuasiveness of gain and loss-framed messages in encouraging smoking cessation. The conclusion remains unchanged regardless of how nicotine dependence is measured and before and after controlling for study and participant characteristics. These results strongly cast doubt on the applicability of the risk-framing hypothesis that con- tinues to guide research and public-health campaigns.

KeywordsMeta-analysis; Robust variance estimation; Framing effect
Year2023
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Journal citation104, pp. 1-13
PublisherElseiver
ISSN2214-8051
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socec.2023.101998
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214804323000241?via%3Dihub
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File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Mar 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Feb 2023
Deposited20 Mar 2023
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