Re-visiting hope as a discrete emotion and its role in Persuasion

Lijiang Shen, Shu Scott Li, Kelly Sweeney, Daniel Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Revisiting hope as a discrete emotion, we investigated hope as a central concept in this study. Hope was explicated as a positive discrete emotion associated with a nonzero but uncertain prospect (with a probability between 0 and 1) of an unattained goal. Hope can be successfully induced with messages that highlight a discrepancy between the current state and an unattained goal in tandem with a positive but uncertain prospect of goal attainment. Hope’s persuasive impact above and beyond fear was tested in a web-based experiment with health messages that promoted sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) consumption reduction and support for related public policies. Results demonstrated the impact of hope on both SSB consumption reduction and policy support as well as its potential interaction with fear in conferring persuasive effects. These findings offer a guideline for experimental manipulations of hope and set the stage for replications and further tests of moderators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-341
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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