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Annual Conference 2019

March 28–31, 2019

Marriott City Center, Dallas, TX

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7.3b It’s Just Not Gonna Happen to Me: Influences of Construal Level, Perceived Susceptibility, Optimistic Bias, and Pharmaceutical Advertising on Prescription Medication Decision Engagement

Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 8:30 AM–10:00 AM CDT

While heuristics offer a cognitively efficient information processing path, using heuristics risks reliance on an inaccurate or less applicable base of knowledge, thereby damaging decision quality. Our interest is how we could capitalize on the positive aspect of heuristics to address the negative side of it, in the context of consumers’ processing of information related to direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising (DTCA). We propose and test a model that addresses how exposure to DTCA plays a role in health risk assessment and prescription drug decision engagement. We examine competing theoretical perspectives to unveil the dynamic mechanism of optimistic bias in terms of the influence of DTCA exposure. U.S. adults responded to a set of surveys across four major therapeutic categories. We found that exposure to DTCA enhances consumers’ perception of health risk likelihood and adjusts optimistic bias by reducing unrealistic self-positivity about health risk. The relationship between DTCA exposure and prescription medication decision engagement was mediated through perceived susceptibility, and this process was moderated by optimistic bias. The findings suggest that DTCA could improve consumers’ health by adjusting their unrealistic, positive bias of self-health risk assessment. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with its consumer and public policy implications.

First & Corresponding Author

Ilwoo Ju, Saint Louis University
Authors in the order to be printed.

Ilwoo Ju, Saint Louis University; Jennifer Ohs, Saint Louis University

Additional Authors

Jennifer Ohs, Saint Louis University