Management Faculty Publications and Presentations

Effects of Risk-Focused and Recommendation-Focused Mental Imagery on Occupational Risk Communication

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This study examined the impact of mental imagery instructions in a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) safety document conveying risk and safety information to farmers. A sample of 314 farmers recruited from a large Southeastern state fair was randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 × 2 design. Participants received a NIOSH safety document about skid steer loader safety in which 2 types of mental imagery instructions were manipulated: (a) risk-focused (imagery vs. control) and (b) recommendation-focused (imagery vs. control). Results indicate that risk-focused imagery influenced perceptions of susceptibility to workplace accidents, whereas recommendation-focused imagery influenced attitudes toward engaging in safety behaviors, intentions to share safety information with others, and perceptions of the safety message. Further analyses indicated that ease of imagery partially mediated the relationship between the imagery manipulations and these outcomes. Other potential mechanisms for these effects are discussed.


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Health Communication