Management Faculty Publications and Presentations

Formative Field Experiments of a NIOSH Alert to Reduce the Risks to Firefighters From Structural Collapse: Applying the Cascade Framework

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The authors report two field experiments aimed at testing the impact of government safety recommendations. Using a cascade framework from the Communication Matrix (McGuire, 1985, 1989), the study tested effects of reminder cards, message format, argument quality, and mailer types on indicators of reception, processing, and response. Systematic combinations of these variables were mailed to randomly selected firefighting units in the United States. Fire chiefs were contacted by phone to complete a survey within the next month (Experiment 1, N = 2,000, 44% completion; Experiment 2, N = 600; 77% completion). Results showed highest reception rates (∼50%) with one reminder card and the standard government low-graphics format and that greater reception produced stronger intentions. Processing was stronger with the standard government low-graphics format, and processing was correlated with more positive attitudes and intentions. Response indexes were favorable (>4 on -point scale) under all conditions. Outcomes are interpreted within the framework of a communication cascade model.


Copyright 2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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Health Communication