Pathos and Ethos: Emotions and Willingness to Pay for Tobacco Products

Bogliacino, Francesco; Codagnone, Cristiano; Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro; Chakravarti, Amitav; Ortoleva, Pietro Salvatore Tommaso; Gaskell, George; Ivchenko, Andriy; Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Francisco; Mureddu, Francesco; Rudisill, Caroline

In this article we use data from a multi-country Randomized Control Trial study on the effect of anti-tobacco pictorial warnings on an individual’s emotions and behavior. By exploiting the exogenous variations of images as an instrument, we are able to identify the effect of emotional responses. We use a range of outcome variables, from cognitive (risk perception and depth of processing) to behavioural (willingness to buy and willingness to pay). Our findings suggest that the odds of buying a tobacco product can be reduced by 80% if the negative affect elicited by the images increases by one standard deviation. More importantly from a public policy perspective, not all emotions behave alike, as eliciting shame, anger, or distress proves more effective in reducing smoking than fear and disgust.


Also Published In

More About This Work

Academic Units
Public Library of Science
Published Here
January 6, 2016