Objective: A myriad of studies have investigated message framing in health psychology. Messages can either be framed to emphasize the benefits (gain-framed) of engaging in a behavior or the consequences (loss-framed) of failing to engage in a behavior. Generally, results have demonstrated that gain-framed messages are optimal for producing behaviors with little to no perceived risk, while loss-framed messages are better for producing behaviors with uncertain or riskier outcomes. To date, no studies have explored the effects of message framing on compliance with recommendations for psychotherapy and anger management. In this study, post-hoc analysis identified a relationship between levels of anger and willingness to comply with anger management. Method: Undergraduate students (N=77) completed the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2. They were then administered a gain- or loss-framed verbal recommendation to obtain an anger management brochure (low effort) or request an anger management computer program (high-effort). The top and bottom twenty-five percent were used to analyze lower (N=25) vs higher (N=12) levels of trait anger on compliance.
Results: Not due to the effect of message framing, individuals higher on trait anger were more likely to comply with the low effort recommendation of obtaining the brochure, U=98.00, p=.049. Conclusion: This suggests that individuals who acknowledge higher levels of anger are more likely to seek treatment if the resources are readily available. In addition, the lack of difference in framing the recommendation suggests verbal prompts may not be as effective as hypothesized when making a recommendation for anger management.