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Extended Parallel Process Model

Kim Witte


The goal of the extended parallel process model (EPPM) is to provide guidance on how to manage fear generated from communications about a threat. Fear is a powerful motivator, and the key to a successful communication about a threat is to channel this fear into a direction that promotes adaptive, self-protective actions, and prevents maladaptive, inhibiting, or self-defeating actions (→  Information Processing ). According to the EPPM, when people are faced with a threat they either control the danger or control their fear about the threat. The variables that cause individuals to either control the danger or control their fear are defined as follows. Perceived threat , or the degree to which we feel susceptible to a serious threat, is composed of two dimensions. The first, severity of threat, refers to the perceived seriousness of a threat or the magnitude of harm we think we might experience if the threat occurred (e.g., injury, loss, death, disgrace, etc.). For example, do you think contracting HIV is serious? Do you believe there would be harm if you did not prepare for a natural disaster? The second dimension, susceptibility to threat, is the perceived likelihood of experiencing a threat. For example, you might ask, am I at-risk for contracting HIV? How likely is it that a natural disaster will occur? Perceived efficacy , or the degree to which we believe we can feasibly carry ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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