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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The Interactive Effects of Anthropomorphic Style and Message Framing in Health Communication

Published: May 27, 2020


You Lin, Cheng Shiu University; Chun-Tuan Chang, National Sun Yat-sen University; Ssu-I Wu, National Sun Yat-sen University


Anthropomorphic Style; Construal Level; Message Framing


This research combines dimensions of mind perception with construal level theory and proposes that human organ can be anthropomorphized with two styles. The sensible perception of agency-style anthropomorphism is related to cognitive elaboration which is associated with high-level construal processing. Experience-style anthropomorphism is associated with an emotional mental capacity which is associated with low-level construal processing. Four experiments are conducted. The results showed that agency-style anthropomorphism is more effective when a perspective focus on cause, a far temporal distance, or a second-person pronoun is used. Experience-style anthropomorphism is more effective with a perspective focus on consequence, a close temporal distance, or a first-person plural pronoun. This research further showed that perceived normative belief explains the interactive effects above. This research provides implications to marketers when promoting healthcare products.