Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Replication and extension of framing effects to compliance with health behaviors during pandemics

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review



  • Tobias Otterbring, University of Agder
  • ,
  • Alexandra Festila
  • ,
  • Michal Folwarczny, Reykjavík University

Outbreaks of infectious diseases represent a significant challenge for health authorities around the world. Public cooperation and compliance with health recommendations constitute critical steps to stop the spread of such diseases. But how should these recommendations be framed to achieve the most desirable outcomes? Across two experiments, we show that the classic Asian Disease Problem (Tversy and Kahneman, 1981) is replicable, regardless of disease type (real vs. hypothetical). Thus, people are less (vs. more) willing to take risks when information is positively (negatively) framed, irrespective of disease type, although they are generally more risk-averse in real pandemics. Furthermore, people high (vs. low) in emotionality are more willing to comply with preventive health behaviors when information is framed positively (vs. negatively), but only in the case of a real disease. These findings provide a range of insights into the design and management of health recommendations aimed at promoting public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105065
JournalSafety Science
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Covid-19, Framing, Health behavior, Replication, Swine flu

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 213438134