Disentangling the Effects of Temporal Framing on Risk Perception, Attitude, Behavioral Intention, and Behavior : A Multilevel Meta-Analysis

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationCommunication Research
Online published16 Jul 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 16 Jul 2022


Temporal framing is a messaging strategy that highlights either the proximal or distal consequences of a recommended behavior in communication efforts. The results of this meta-analysis of experimental studies on temporal framing supported the overall small advantage of proximal versus distal frames in facilitating persuasion (r = .0659, k = 97, N = 6,808). Specifically, proximal frames were more effective than distal frames in increasing risk perception (r = .0996, k = 14, N = 977) and behavioral intention (r = .0715, k = 40, N = 5,888). However, no such effects were found on attitude or actual behavior. The temporal framing effect was stronger when (1) using specific time points for near future versus distant future, (2) applied to anti-smoking/drinking campaigns, and (3) using nonstudent samples. Besides, gain versus loss frame was a significant moderator of the temporal effect in studies on promoting healthy eating and anti-smoking/drinking.

Research Area(s)

  • gain versus loss, meta-analysis, persuasion, proximal versus distal, temporal framing