Promoting an Active Life Through Threatening Communication: Effects on College Student’s Emotions
Keywords:physical activity promotion, fear appeal theory, emotions, facial expression recognition
This pilot study was aimed to evaluate the acute effects of a sedentary-focused intervention through threatening communication on college student’s emotions. Thirty-six female college students (mean age 20.8 2.7 years) who participated voluntarily where exposed to five neutral and five sedentary-related threatening video messages. In order to evaluate the emotional impact of the messages, the subjects’ faces were recorded and analyzed during these expositions using a facial expression recognition software (Face Reader System 4.0), and assessing the time-lapse percentage of the following basic expressions: neutral, sad, angry, surprised, scared, and disgusted. Compared to the neutral messages, a non-significant increase in sad, angry, and disgusted expressions were observed after threatening intervention; nevertheless, the effect size (d) for the disgusted expression was .832. Moreover, the time-lapse percentage of neutral facial expression decreased after threatening messages although no statistical significance was reached (p = .174).