Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Kenneth DeBono




fear, self, high, accountable, behavioral


This study examines the effectiveness of fear appeal manipulations containing high self‐accountable emotions on drinking behavioral intentions. Previous research on low‐risk behaviors (sun‐screen use) has demonstrated that evoking personal responsibility using high self‐accountable emotions in a fear appeal is significantly more likely to produce positive behavioral intentions (desire to stop the risky behavior) than fear appeals with no added emotional component, or fear appeals containing low self‐accountable emotions. The current research seeks to investigate whether this trend holds for the more complicated, high‐risk behavior of drinking, using self‐monitoring as a moderating variable. Five conditions were created (control, fear alone, fear and regret, fear and guilt, fear and challenge), presented as personal narratives, and evaluated using two surveys. It was hypothesized that low self‐monitors would be significantly more likely to express behavioral intentions to reduce their drinking behavior when exposed to fear appeals containing high self‐accountable emotions than high self‐monitors, and that neither high nor low self‐monitors would show a significant change in behavioral intentions after being exposed to the fear alone, or control condition. Due to a small sample size, the results did not directly support the hypothesis, but analysis revealed ideas for future research using this method.