On-product warnings as reminders: Compliance to product manual warnings based upon presence and content of on-product warning

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Title: On-product warnings as reminders: Compliance to product manual warnings based upon presence and content of on-product warning
Author: Smith, Jeffrey John
Advisors: Michael S. Wogalter, Committee Chair
Abstract: Warnings have two well-established purposes. First, warnings inform users of important safety-related information and thereby enable informed decisions regarding product usage and safety issues. Second, warnings are intended to minimize injuries, illnesses, and property damage. In addition, Wogalter and Laughery (2006) suggested that warnings may function as reminders, where their presence cues information in long-term memory and, consequently, facilitates awareness of a particular hazard. For the most part, past research has not evaluated the effectiveness of warnings as reminders. The present study examined how compliance to product manual warnings was influenced by the presence and content of on-product warnings during a memory installation task involving an electrostatic discharge hazard. Analyses showed that both the presence of an ANSI-compliant label and longer manual exposure were associated with increased compliance. This additive effect reinforces the importance of on-product warnings as not only a first exposure to safety-related information, but also supports the suggestion that warnings may act as reminders, increasing the likelihood of compliance even when one is already aware of a hazard. Analyses also showed that the presence of an explicit ANSI-compliant warning was associated with greater compliance than a general warning, regardless of manual condition. Critiques of the present research and suggestions for future research involving warnings as reminders are discussed.
Date: 2010-02-18
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/398


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