Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Safer Sex Intervention, Infographics Design, Message Framing, Emotional Education

Major Advisor

Dr. Ross Buck

Associate Advisor

Dr. David Atkin

Associate Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Lin

Field of Study

Communication Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This study compares the effects of two safer sex infographic message strategies on American college students: the traditional social cognitive intervention approach (SC) versus the SC plus emotional intervention approach (SCE). An experiment was conducted to examine how message framing (gain-framed versus loss-framed) and data representation (rational versus emotional) embedded in the infographics influence health message processing, perceived severity of not using a condom, and condom use intention. Across all conditions, sexually inactive participants reported a significantly higher intention to use a condom compared to the sexually active participants. Among sexually active participants, SCE approach led to significantly higher condom use intentions compared to the SC approach. Moreover, the ratio of affect and reason, which indicates the emotional involvement of information processing, was a significant predictor of condom use intention among sexually active participants. Sexually inactive participants, on the other hand, indicated more self-referencing and outcome involvement for the cognitive intervention infographics with rational visual appeals, compared to the emotional intervention infographics with rational visual appeals. They also paid more attention to the cognitive intervention infographics. Implications for these results as well as differences in condom use intentions between the sexually active participants and inactive participants are discussed.