fear appeals

Quick Reference

A psychological and rhetorical strategy in persuasive communication such as advertising that seeks to evoke a response of fear or anxiety in the audience by showing them an undesirable outcome that they can avoid by heeding the warning. This strategy is intended to increase the effectiveness of the message and it is commonly used in health and safety campaigns, such as those warning motorists not to drink and drive. See also advertising appeals; emotional appeals; negative appeals.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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