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Youth Gangs : Scare Tactics That Work
Typical anti-gang messages often evoke fear of being shot or arrested. However, persuasion research suggests that injunctive norms (e.g., fear of societal disapproval) can have greater power. Thus, a new type of anti-gang message was created that relied on injunctive norms. The study examined the persuasive power of message type (typical or injunctive) and medium type (poster or text), on participants’ attitudes towards gangs. Participants (N = 40; 33 females; 7 males) were shown a slide show, and following this, completed a Gang Attitudes Questionnaire. Injunctive norms (e.g., societal, family, and peer disapproval) produced stronger anti-gang attitudes than did typical anti-gang messages that evoke fear of being shot or arrested.
Social Psychology and Interaction