Health Information Processed Under Limited Attention: Is It Better To Be "Hot" Or "Cool"?

Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Health Psychology


Introduction: The attentional myopia model (T. Mann & A. Ward, 2004) posits that under conditions of limited attention, individuals will be disproportionately influenced by highly salient cues. The "hot/cool" model (J. Metcalfe & W. Mischel, 1999) suggests that cues designed to activate "hot" emotional systems will typically dominate attention and promote relevant behavior more than cues designed to activate "cool" cognitive systems. Method: While under conditions of high or low cognitive load, participants heard information regarding the use of a zinc supplement and reported their intentions to try it. In Study 1, cool message cues that promoted the use of zinc were more salient than hot cues that discouraged its use. In Study 2, hot cues that discouraged the use of zinc were more salient than cool cues that promoted its use. Results: In both studies, the imposition of cognitive load increased the influence of salient cues, regardless of their motivational "temperature." Conclusions: Consistent with the attentional myopia model, either hot or cool health message cues can exert strong influence over individuals, depending on the relative salience of those cues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

This document is currently not available here.