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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Effect of Processing Fluency on Health Risk Perception

Published: May 28, 2019


Yunjoo Jeong, Korea University; Kwanho Suk, School of Business, Korea University


processing fluency; health risk perception; numerical characteristic


People nowadays are frequently required to make judgments that involve risk such as health and financial decisions. This research proposes that high processing fluency on marketing communications leads people to perceive higher health risk. In addition to the processing fluency that arises from numerical characteristics (e.g., number roundedness), conceptual fluency, resulting from the conceptual fit between an external stimuli and the people’s mindset, causes enhanced health risk perception. This, in turn, leads to higher purchase intention towards nutritional supplements that can help prevent disease. Furthermore, ease of processing printed text induces higher risk perception, supporting our argument that increased perceptual fluency make people assess higher health risk unless they attribute the subjective difficulty of processing to the font. Series of experiments provide converging evidence of processing fluency as a determinant of perceiving the health risk. The findings have both theoretical and managerial implications for marketers and policy makers.