Talking about Decisions: The Facilitating Effect of a Celebrity Health Announcement on the Communication of Online Personal Experiences around Decision-making

Sillence, Elizabeth and Martin, Rachel (2019) Talking about Decisions: The Facilitating Effect of a Celebrity Health Announcement on the Communication of Online Personal Experiences around Decision-making. Health Communication. pp. 1-8. ISSN 1041-0236 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1652064

Abstract

This study examines how posters on an online forum discussed their own current and past decision-making in response to a celebrity health announcement. We examined messages in response to a celebrity narrative, and extracted those explicitly related to decision-making around genetic testing and preventative surgery. Using deductive coding we identified different types of decision-making narratives, and with inductive coding we examined how users discussed decision-making activities. Guided by the literature on narrative content types in decision-making, and on celebrity health narratives, we found that the celebrity decision announcement facilitated social sharing in relation to two key decision-making activities. First, identifying with the celebrity allowed people to reflect and compare their own personal health circumstances. This empowered readers to appraise and select options about their current decision-making regarding preventative surgery. Second, the announcement allowed an extension of the discussion beyond the celebrity, and acted as a catalyst encouraging other people to share their own previous decision-making experiences. These experiences contained a mix of narratives content types, and provided an opportunity for posters to evaluate their decisions, and to contribute to a repository of decision-making examples for others. Health narratives act as communication devices in decision-making, and we discuss the findings in relation to the extension of the educational and persuasive function of celebrity health narratives.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 10:07
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40404

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