The effects of age-morphing technology on older adult issue campaigns: The interplay of construal level, perceived probability, and message appeal
Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberpspace
The current research examined the potential effects of age-morphing technology as a communication tool on reducing ageism and promoting positive attitude and behavioral intention to address issues affecting older adults. Two competing theoretical frameworks—construal level theory (CLT) and perspective taking (PT)—were tested as underlying mechanisms to understand the technology's effects. In two online experiments, we examined the main and interaction effects of construal level manipulated
... the technology and perceived probability of getting Alzheimer's Disease on ageism, attitude toward helping older adults, behavioral and donation intentions (Study 1) and explored message appeals as a boundary condition to improve the potential negative outcomes of technology-mediated communication (Study 2). The findings revealed that an age-morphed image led to more concrete construal of one's future life as an older adult. An age-morphed image combined with high perceived probability led to less stereotypical thoughts about older adults and more supporting intentions to address the issue. However, it showed that for low perceived probability, an age-morphed image resulted in less favorable outcomes. The findings showed that a model based on CLT can explain the effects as an underlying mechanism. This research indicates that the effects of age-morphing technology vary but that the technology still can be used as a strategic communication tool that might elicit favorable outcomes depending on how it is combined with perceived probability and message appeals.